The NASA, during the fifties, wanted to know how space
travel would affect the inner ear. The best test subjects
were deaf people that became deaf because of Spinal
Meningitis. This means balance problems among these
deaf individuals – problems walking in the dark,
problems chasing fly balls in softball, problems
in catching football passes, etc.

As an example, a great late-deafened high school
football star, enrolled at Gallaudet in the late
twenties. That football star was not able to
play well on the college level because of
Spinal Meningitis.

Eleven young, strong deaf men (all of them with Spinal
Meningitis, and attending classes at Galladuet) were
asked by NASA to perform a series of zero-gravity

Said David Myers, one of these deaf volunteers:

We were the only deaf group to ever be involved in
the history of the space program

They were placed in a circular room, isolated from the
world and spun around here and there by centrifugal
force! Myers simply said it was fun (he played football
at Gallaudet, despite his Spinal Meningitis; he even
tried out for the University of North Carolina football
team before he transferred to Gallaudet).

These 11 deaf men were pioneers. NASA is still
researching the issue of inner ear balance 50-60
years later.

As a sidebar, a group of deaf men were placed
on a ship, in rocky waters, with a group of
hearing men. All of the hearing men had
wave sickness issues. The deaf men said they
were fine!