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27 Feb, 2017 14:16

RT Space 360: Getting ready for zero gravity’s sickening side effects

Bouncing around in zero gravity may look exciting for those brave enough to leave Earth, but it's not all fun and games. Weightlessness is actually quite sickening, as revealed by the newest episode of RT's Space 360 project.

Space sickness is an ailment faced by anyone who leaves the confines of our planet. And while its severity varies from person to person, no one is immune from its effects.

“The hardest part is ignoring your body's reaction. For some, it is easier – for others it is more difficult. Invariably, our bodies always try to resist this unusual new sensation,” cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov told RT.

360 videos are best viewed in desktop browsers or in the YouTube app

Cosmonauts are given a chance to prepare for the sensation of weightlessness in the Ilyushin-76 MDK, a Russian Space Agency jet that helps experience microgravity. To do this, it flies along a parabolic trajectory and the dive is when the passengers become ‘weightless’.

Though the dive only lasts around 25 seconds, its effects on the body can be brutal. In fact, two out of three people vomit after a few maneuvers – some of them violently.

RT Space 360: Tricky challenge of cooking & eating breakfast aboard ISS

For cosmonaut Sergey Karsakov, the problem is less about sickness and more about the possibility of taking a hard fall when the weightlessness ends and hypergravity briefly steps in.

“Thankfully, my body handles weightlessness very well. The problem for me is getting carried away. If you don’t get back to the floor before gravity returns, you can take a serious fall,” he said.

However, for Karsakov and his colleagues, it seems the risk is certainly worth the reward.

Space 360 is a joint project between RT, Roscosmos, and Energia Rocket and Space Corporation. Videos are available in six languages and can be viewed here