Space History Photo: Astronaut Fullerton Suited for Training Exercises on KC-135

space history, KC-135
Astronaut Fullerton training in a zero-gravity aircraft. (Image credit: NASA)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton, STS-3 pilot, gets a preview of what it might be like in space during a flight aboard NASA's KC- 135 "zero-gravity" aircraft in July of 1981. A special parabolic pattern flown by the aircraft provides short periods of weightlessness.

These flights are nicknamed the "vomit comet" because of the nausea that is often induced. Fullerton's suit is an extravehicular mobility unit (EMU), used by astronauts when leaving the Shuttle orbiter to go outside and perform tasks in space. There was no EVA on the STS-3, but crewmembers are trained in that area in the event of the necessity to perform chores in space that for some reason could not be done remotely. Fullerton donned his suit during a parabola and took the opportunity to float around in the absence of gravity.

Each weekday, looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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