Why Do Astronauts Feel Weightless
Before man reached outer space, gravity was a major force to contend with in terms of physics and aerial flight. Everything had to fall when thrown up in the air. It was nature forcing its will. But all of these beliefs were shattered once man breached the atmosphere. Astronauts discovered that feeling weightless was possible.
Sir Isaac Newton was credited with coming up with the gravitational principle wherein he used apples as experiment subjects. His close observation of the natural phenomenon that enveloped the entire planet became the basis for a lot of modern day physics. Flight wouldn’t be possible if gravity wasn’t fully understood by scientists.
So how is it possible for astronauts to float in space as if they were as light as feathers? It was determined that gravity becomes weaker the farther an object stays from the earth’s atmosphere. It doesn’t disappear totally but it becomes more negligible the higher an object climbs up.
For this reason, a person can weigh less in high altitudes and this is what happens to astronauts when they go out of the earth. They become lighter thus enabling them to float. But in reality, they are not actually floating around but are in constant free fall. The round and curved shape of the earth also helps in keeping them suspended and not fall back to the ground since astronauts in flight move fast while the earth is also rotating giving the effect of moving away from the spacecraft and the astronauts.
This discovery has led scientists to believe that gravity is a weak force contrary to what was previously accepted. With enough force to counteract it, it becomes negligible and controllable. It’s one of the main reasons for the great advancements in transportation and construction. Without the knowledge that astronauts floating space brought about, the world wouldn’t be what it is today.