NASA studied cat’s self-righting mechanism to help astronauts in space

The renown self-righting mechanism of the domestic cat was studied scientifically and in depth in order to inform NASA how it might assist their astronauts in twisting and turning when in space (i.e. in a vacuum and under zero gravity).

Astronauts learnt from the falling cat phenomenon
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images – I have merged three images for impact.

We have seen a lot of film of astronauts floating in space and manoeuvring themselves when weightless. Back in the heyday of US space travel in the 1960s, NASA contributed to the funding of a study called: A Dynamical Explanation of the Falling Cat Phenomenon. Note that self-righting is referred to as the ‘falling cat phenomenon’.

Scientifically describing the falling cat phenomenon

Scientifically describing the falling cat phenomenon

It was written by Stanford’s T.R. Kane and M.P. Scher. The complexities of the cat’s self-righting mechanism was converted into mathematical formulae.

Scientifically representing falling cat phenomenon

Scientifically representing falling cat phenomenon

When weightless it must take skill and training for astronauts to be able to maintain proper orientation in relation to their surroundings. The movements of the humble but useful domestic cat were employed.

When scientists translate the process of feline self-righting into mathematically formulae is hits home how beautiful it is.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *