If you spin in a zero gravity / space capsule, will you get dizzy?


If you spin in a zero gravity / space capsule, will you get dizzy?

In: 51

Spin, as in, spin your own body around your own axis? Or as in, “you’re on a space station that is rotating in order to create artificial “gravity” from centrifugal force”?


Yes. All matter has a property called “inertia”, which is a resistance to changes in motion. It doesn’t depend on gravity.

When you spin around, there’s fluid in your inner ear which moves too. But since it’s a fluid its motion can lag a little bit due to its inertia. It doesn’t respond immediately to changes in motion. The solid parts of your head/body do, since they are tightly connected to each other.

That fluid motion moves some tiny hairs, and they send nerve signals to your brain telling it that you are moving. Gravity isn’t really required.

Being in space means that the fluid in your ear moves around a lot, so many astronauts will feel dizzy when they get into space because the signals confuse their brain. However, eventually their brain realizes those signals are unreliable and starts to rely more on sight instead – making it very hard to feel dizzy.

[From a video made on the International Space Station](https://youtu.be/GPnLShiJ-t4) it appears to be possible for an astronaut to feel dizzy from spinning. However, for the astronaut in the video at least, the dizzy feeling seems to fade away within a few seconds after they stop spinning.

So I’ve actually been on the “vomit comet” for some research testing. It’s used to mimic zero g for very brief periods (~25 seconds I think).

Based on my experience, I can promise you some people (me) get very dizzy

Throwing up in zero g is very different. But it was easier than throwing up during the 2-g’s acceleration. That was pain.