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Meet the Black Aerospace Scientist Helping Astronauts Combat Space Sickness

NASA aerospace research psycho-physiologist Dr. Patricia S. Cowings designed a program to help astronauts combat space sickness, according to Face2Face Africa . Born in Bronx, New York, Cowings, 71, dedicated her 34-year career at NASA to helping spacemen and women better adapt to outer space conditions by studying the effects of gravity on human physiology and performance. According to NASA, approximately half of the crew experience a range of symptoms of motion sickness during space travel, including mild forms of nausea or dizziness to severe malaise and vomiting. As a result of her research efforts, NASA patented Autogenic Feedback Training Exercise (AFTE), a six-hour procedure used to train people to control 24 physiological functions—breathing, heart rate, sweating, etc. — to reduce symptoms of motion sickness. During training, she teaches a subject to mentally evoke a sensation, like muscle relaxation, to bring about desired physiological changes, says NASA . “Astronauts are...

Jul 23, 2020