How does NASA prepare astronauts for the silence of space?

October 31st, 2017

And let’s throw another question into the mix, for good measure: “Why is the quietest place on earth so noisy?”

In our pursuit of creating a tranquillity that transforms, we do have some memorable ‘aha’ moments. Such as? When we realised that it’s actually possible to have ‘too much’ quiet.

… and that there’s a place so silent that the background noise measured is actually in negative decibels, -9.4 dBA.

So where on earth is the quietest place on earth?

According to our good friends at the Institute of Acoustics, it’s the anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota.

It is so quiet that the longest anybody has been able to bear it is 45 minutes.

When it’s that quiet, your ears adapt. And the quieter the room, the more things you hear… like your heart beating or your stomach gurgling loudly. According to the lab’s founder, Steven Orfield, “In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.”

Yes, NASA has sent astronauts here to help them adapt to the silence of space. And us? When we talk about creating ‘the quietest spaces in the noisiest places’ we know where to draw the line.

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