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Then-Senator Jake Garn flew on Shuttle mission STS-51-D in April 1985. He developed the worst documented case of space adaptation syndrome, for which an informal unit of space sickness was named after him:

The space sickness he experienced during the journey was so severe that a scale for space sickness was jokingly based on him, where "one Garn" is the highest possible level of sickness. Some NASA astronauts who opposed the payload specialist program, such as Mike Mullane, believed that Garn's space sickness was evidence of the inappropriateness of flying people with little training.

What is the earliest known use of this unit?

(No need for official sources; personal recollection of those involved in the Shuttle program is fine.)

Related answer

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  • $\begingroup$ For point of reference, I can't find any mention in Google books prior to 2000. Everything I can find online or in Google books after 2000 refers to it as a unit already in existence and recounts the original Garn story but does not mention any specific instance that the unit was used. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jun 12 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ If you don't get any answers with pre-2000 stories by the time bounties are an option, let me know and I'll put one on here. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jun 12 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ I remember hearing some stories around the Office, probably in the ~1998 time frame, that the second-highest Garn level ever achieved, to that point, registered no more than a few milli-Garns... $\endgroup$ – Digger Jun 13 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Digger: If you turn your comment into an answer, you can claim the bounty on this question. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Jun 22 at 3:23
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    $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon Why not? Thanks for the nudge! This is why Organic Marble needs to crank on Mark Polansky a bit to get him to be a contributor here. Two heads are always better than one... $\endgroup$ – Digger Jun 23 at 15:26
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I don't consider this answer to be definitive, but it's most likely the best we will do here...

I remember hearing some stories around NASA's Astronaut Office, probably in the ~1998 time frame, about STS-51-D (Jake Garn's flight - which happened in April, 1985). The running joke, at the time, was that the second-highest Garn level ever achieved, to that point, registered no more than a few milli-Garns...poor guy!

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