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John Stapp during a high G-force test on a sled

John Stapp during a high G-force test on a sled

T612/0182

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Acceleration and deceleration testing. John Stapp strapped in a sled seat before (left) and during (right) high G-force acceleration and deceleration testing. The 27 rocket-propelled runs made by Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Stapp (born 1910) showed the effects of rapid acceleration and deceleration on the human body. On December 10 1954, Stapp reached 632 miles per hour (mph) in 5 seconds before being brought back to rest in just over a second with a force of over 40 Gs. At that time 632 mph was a land speed record. Despite initial blindness and collapsed lungs, he quickly recovered, proving that it was possible to survive an ejection from a supersonic aircraft.

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