The findings might help the astronauts on the ISS space station who have to deal with weightlessness for a longer period to move around safely. However, the results might also help to better understand humans’ judgments regarding their perception of self-motion and orientation in everyday life. Therefore, astronauts are tested shortly before their departure as well as during their stay in space and right after they return. Since Luca Parmitano had just returned from his 200-day-long ISS mission, Dr. Bury tested him at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne (Germany).
However, due to restrictions on the number of astronauts and their time during their test sessions on the ISS, the CSA VECTION project is necessarily limited. Therefore, the H-BRS research group around Prof. Rainer Herpers and his Canadian colleagues, Profs. Dr. Laurence Harris, Dr. Michael Jenkin and Dr. Rob Allison, have already started a follow-up study on behalf of the German Aerospace Center – the “SMUG” project (Self-Motion Under Gravity). Instead of testing astronauts in space, the SMUG project focuses on parabolic flights. During these flights participants will make judgements about how far they have travelled through a virtual reality simulation which will be presented using a head-mounted display (HMD). Furthermore, the H-BRS team has recently been selected as a partner in another related ESA project called VAME. Together, the results the SMUG project and the VAME project will extend the findings of the VECTION project.
Project Homepage VECTION
News from July 2018 about underwater experiments
Project Homepage SMUG
Press release from September 2019 about parabolic flight
Article from March 5 2020 in Generalanzeiger (German)