He made due, yet I don’t know I will: Soon I’ll board an airplane that makes 30% of its travelers hurl. This is the principal day of a NASA college program that peaks on board the Vomit Comet, an altered KC-135A plane that performs “parabolas” – a progression of climbs and plummets – to mimic weightlessness. For an anxious flyer like me, this brings up many issues: How can a 38-year-old airplane take the pressure of 8,000-foot jumps and 8,000-foot recuperations? Furthermore, Why on earth am I doing this?
Honestly, it sounded great when four understudies from Brown University welcomed me to fly with them. As I leave for the afternoon, a NASA educator reminds me: “Don’t be late tomorrow, or you won’t fly.”
Day Two: Classroom and Chamber
I’m late. Maybe it’s my new granola diet – this heaving thing has me nervous. Fortunately, NASA has a two-strikes strategy.
The present illustration is about oxygen – explicitly, how there’s tiny of it where I’m going this evening: a steel flight chamber that can recreate the gaseous tension at any elevation. Cautions the teacher before lunch: “With significantly less strain in the chamber, gas extends. Make it a point to, all things considered, oust it.”
In the chamber, at 25,000 feet, we eliminate our breathing apparatuses for 5 minutes. I feel fine – even total a straightforward test. At 3 minutes off oxygen, I’m approached to sign my name. Afterward, I see that I stated “William Confused.”