In a Word

n. an instance of sickness

Utah senator Jake Garn got so comprehensively ill on the space shuttle Discovery in 1985 that he’s remembered in the Garn scale, an informal measure of space sickness. Astronaut Robert Stevenson recalled:

Jake Garn was sick, was pretty sick. I don’t know whether we should tell stories like that. But anyway, Jake Garn, he has made a mark in the Astronaut Corps because he represents the maximum level of space sickness that anyone can ever attain, and so the mark of being totally sick and totally incompetent is one Garn. Most guys will get maybe to a tenth Garn if that high. And within the Astronaut Corps, he forever will be remembered by that.

Garn said, “I’ve been very proud of the fact that they named something after me after all these years, even if it was unofficial.”