Sign Language: Ready For Use In Space?

Keith's note: Fast forward to 28:45 for an interview with deaf student astronaut Julia Velasquez in ASL who is currently at HI-SEAS Mars analog habitat in Hawaii. In a previous life I worked as a professional Sign Language interpreter so I think this is especially cool. Another language that may one day be used in space? I used to go snorkeling with one of my deaf roommates. We used to have perfectly normal conversations underwater except that they caused us to move our bodies. When I flew on ZeroG parabolic flight I started to sign to myself in an exaggerated fashion. If I was already rotating what I said in sign language affected my rotation. I also signed to myself when I was in the NASTAR centrifuge at 3Gs - because I could (with my 200 pound arms). Anyone who has gone SCUBA diving knows that there are a bunch of hand signs you use in certain situations. But they are very limited. How do you communicate in space if your radio is dead? I can imagine that people living in zeroG for prolonged periods will develop their own unique art forms - and there is an obvious overlap between sign language, song, dance, and acrobatics - especially when you remove the downward pull of gravity. Maybe Andy Weir can write a book about that. Just sayin'

Robonaut-2 Says "Hello world" in American Sign Language From the ISS, SpaceRef (2012)

"On 13 March 2012, NASA's Robonaut-2 said "hello world" in American Sign Language (ASL) from the International Space Station. I am told that the idea for this came from my suggestion posted on NASA Watch several months ago (below). How cool."

First International Comparative List of Astronomical Words In Sign Languages

"The first international comparative list of astronomical words in sign languages is now available. As part of this proposal, the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Astronomy for Sign Languages has been translated into English and Spanish and is now available online. This is the result of a long-term project developed by the IAU Commission C1 Education and Development of Astronomy and its WG3 Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion. The new list currently includes 47 words most commonly used in education."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 21, 2017 12:06 AM.

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