Reduced Gravity Suit

This photograph shows someone wearing a special pressurized spacesuit to help NASA scientists study “the lunar walking problem”.

Reduced gravity space suit

The photo was taken at a simulator located at the Lunar Landing Facility at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia that was designed to help analyse the physiological effects of reduced gravity on walking, running, jumping, fatigue limits, energy expenditure and speed. A 1964 paper titled “Discussion of Existing and Planned Simulators for Space Research” described it thusly:

When the astronauts land on the moon they will be in an unfamiliar environment involving, particularly, a gravitational field only one-sixth as strong as on earth. A novel method of simulating lunar gravity has been developed and is supported by a puppet-type suspension system at the end of a long pendulum. A floor is provided at the proper angle so that one-sixth of the subject’s weight is supported by the floor with the remainder being supported by the suspension system. This simulator allows almost complete freedom in vertical translation and pitch and is considered to be a very realistic simulation of the lunar walking problem.


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