In real life, astronauts suffer from Space Adaptation Syndrome because their proprioceptive system receive confused signals about the feeling of weightlessness and little control over their limbs floating in space. However, with our application installed in every corner of the space station or space shuttle, there are multiple situations in which it may be helpful to astronauts.
For example, when astronauts exercise for several hours a day on treadmills or machines, they will feel flotation, imbalance, and lack of posture. However, by installing such an application like our automatic, time-controlled apparatus next to each machine or by each corner of the room, astronauts will inevitably view the dropping balls in their peripheral vision. Even though astronauts may not be looking at the apparatus, the visual stimulus of an object dropping continuously will send signals to the brain telling the body to direct its posture downwards. Astronauts, then, will be able to exercise better because their bodies are used to the illusion of gravity.
Not only does this application serve its purpose in space, it also benefits astronauts after they return to planet Earth. Since astronauts will be exposed to some feeling of “falling” or acceleration by gravity in space, they will have an easier time re-adjusting to life on Earth.
If we were to use this application on Earth, it could help people with acrophobia and motion sickness. People who fear heights and turbulent motion feel a similar syndrome as astronauts in space, when the body is not settled on the ground. These three syndromes are a result of the confused signals the brain will receive when a person is not fully in control of his or her limbs, whether the body is floating in space, high up on the ground, or rocked turbulently. Thus, if our application could be developed into a miniscule model, it could be a transportable device, which continually drops a ball. A person may carry the device when they encounter formidable heights to prevent acrophobia or when they are simply riding a car to prevent motion sickness. The device’s continuous, smooth motion of dropping balls will help a person feel settled into the ground and give the illusion of free fall in the body and control in the muscles.
Overall, while our model primarily serves astronauts in space, it could also be useful to people here on Earth who may need the illusion of gravity to defeat a phobia or sickness.