The Effect of Gravity on the Human Body

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  • Topic: Standard gravity, G-force, G-suit
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  • Published : September 22, 2008
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The Effect of Gravity on the Human Body

According to the NASA Glenn Research Center, the nominal acceleration of gravity on Earth at sea level AKA standard gravity AKA “g-force” AKA “1 g” is defined as 32 feet per second.

Sneezing subjects your brain to about 3 g and coughing about 3.5 g.

The frame of airliners and other transport aircraft must be capable of withstanding a g-force of 2.5 g.

A race car driver going around a curve at 100 MPH will experience a g-force of approximately 3 g.

Formula One drivers usually experience 5 g while braking, 2 g while accelerating, and 4 to 6 g while cornering.

Mechanical wristwatches can withstand 7 g.

Military pilots (especially fighter pilots) with “g-suits” can withstand more than 9 g before they black out – also known as “g-LOC” (gravity induced loss of consciousness), which is caused by blood rushing to the feet. A typical person without a g-suit will black out at around 6 g.

A driver running into a brick wall at 65 MPH will experience a g-force of approximately 15 g.

The centrifuge for human testing at Ames Research Center subjects prospective astronauts to 20 g.

Aerospace-rated electronic relays can withstand 50 g.

GPS guidance units on modern military artillery shells need to withstand 15,500 g to survive the acceleration on firing.

A hard slap on the face may impose hundreds of g locally but not produce any real damage; a constant 16 g for a minute, however, may be deadly.

“Negative g" means blood is driven to the head, causing capillaries in the eyes to swell and/or burst, causing a “red out.” The typical person can only take about -3 g before experiencing a red out.

Humans can survive up to about 20 to 35 g instantaneously, for a very short period of time. Any exposure to around 100 g or more, even if momentary, is likely to be lethal, although the record is 179 g.

The human body is much better at handling extreme acceleration in the horizontal plane (e.g., when Jesse...
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