Half a century ago, cats taught the first astronauts to move properly in zero gravity

With the onset of the era of space exploration, the problem of human adaptation to the state of weightlessness arose. And, as has happened before, animals - in particular, cats - have become scientists' assistants in this matter.

The leaders in the "cat" direction (by that time dogs and monkeys had already been in space) were the French, who launched the cat Felisset into a suborbital flight on October 18, 1963, which then returned safely to Earth.

Simultaneously with cats in zero gravity, US Air Force specialists (Project 7184) experimented. In 1962, aboard the Convair C-131 Samaritan research aircraft, they observed the behavior of two cats in a state of microgravity, which was created for a short time by a sharp drop in altitude.

As it turned out, these animals, possessing a unique coordination of movements under normal conditions (cats always land on their paws when falling from any position), were practically helpless in zero gravity.

At that time, nothing was known about the biomechanics of a person who found himself in zero gravity. Thanks to Project 7184, nine basic human movements in a state of microgravity were identified, allowing him to maneuver without touching surrounding surfaces. One of them - rotation along the vertical axis - was suggested by the cats.

As a result, people have learned to better cope with weightlessness, and a video has remained about a unique experiment almost 60 years ago.