Prof. Laurence R Young

Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics, Emeritus
Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Emeritus

Primary DLC

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

MIT Room: 37-219


Pam Fradkin

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Aerospace Human Factors
Long Duration Space Flight
Artificial Gravity
Space Science
Ski Safety
Vestibular Physiology
Space Travel
Human Exploration of Mars
Health Concerns for Astronauts

Research Summary

Professor Young's contributions to the aerospace medical field have been in instrumentation (eye movement measurement) and basic and applied research in the field of vestibular function. His psychophysical work on semicircular canal and otolith function led to models that are applied to flight simulator motion control and are being extended to include visually induced motion effects. Professor Young is also recognized for his leadership in the aerospace human factors including applications of manual control theory, and especially for his research on adaptive manual control. His work on the vestibular system has led to his role as principal investigator for experiments on vestibular adaptation to weightlessness conducted aboard five Spacelab missions for which he received NASA's Public Service Group Achievement Award.

Laurence Young was the founding Director of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine of the NAS and is a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Dr. Young joined the MIT faculty in 1962, and co-founded the Man-Vehicle Laboratory which does research on the visual and vestibular systems, visual-vestibular interaction, flight simulation, space motion sickness and manual control and displays. Following two years of training at Johnson Space Center he served as Alternate Payload Specialist during the October 1993 mission. Dr. Young has served on numerous Academy committees including the Committee on the Space Station, Committee on Human Factors, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, and Air Force Studies Board. He currently chairs NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts External Council.

Recent Work