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The Weightless Cat

Written by: George Chittenden : 12 Nov 2019

This bizarre photo, was taken at 25,000 feet on Feb 8th, 1958, when studies were being carried out to determine what weightlessness in space would do to the body. The cat, who clearly didn’t volunteer for the task, was flown inside an F-94C jet by Capt. Druey P. Parks. The purpose of these sub-gravity tests was to ascertain whether there would be no major respiratory or circulatory hazards resulting from weightlessness.

A cat weightless inside the cockpit of a F-94C jet

A cat weightless inside the cockpit of a F-94C jet

To carry out the test, pilots flew sub-gravity trajectories. Basically the speed of the plane when flying a calculated arc, counterbalances the pull of gravity and creates for a brief period of time, weightlessness. At that moment the pilot, Capt. Druey P. Parks in this case let the cat slip from the palm of his hand, creating this rather insane photograph. The cat’s reaction was described as one of bewilderment, which isn’t that surprising.

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