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Dr. Patricia Cowings featured in Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum article titled “Hidden No More: Black Women Groundbreakers at NASA”
(Nov 8, 2021)
As part of an online exhibit for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. highlighting the careers of pioneering women in aviation and space history, NASA Human Systems Integration Division research psychologist Dr. Patricia Cowings was featured in the online story "Hidden No More: Black Women Groundbreakers at NASA".

Throughout her 50+ year career at NASA, starting in the Biomedical Division at NASA Ames Research Center, Dr. Cowings conducted groundbreaking research into the psycho-physiological problems ("space sickness") experienced by astronauts. Many of NASA's most highly trained astronauts suffered from space and motion sickness brought on by space travel (effects of microgravity, spatial disorientation) and readaptation to Earth’s gravity. It soon became imperative for NASA to develop a training program to help astronauts combat these effects. Dr. Cowings successfully tested and developed an innovative training program, the Autogenic Feedback Training Exercise (AFTE), which can be used to teach subjects to self-control their own bodily responses to counteract the harmful effects of motion sickness to the various environmental stressors of space and on Earth. Dr Cowing’s AFTE training program was ultimately determined to be more effective than several prominent pharmacological remedies in use at the time.

Dr. Cowings continues to conduct research at NASA Ames Research Center as the lead of the Psychophysiology Research Laboratory. Her work is continuing to enable the NASA mission by working to maximize the health, productivity and safety of astronauts and humans in space.
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Last Updated: March 18, 2024