Lunar mission: flying to the moon, landing on the lunar surface and returning back should take about two weeks. That is why the Sketch experiment simulating it at the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which ended on April 30, lasted exactly 14 days. A mixed crew of six volunteer testers (two girls and four men) took part in the “flight”
One of the goals of the experiment was to study the adaptation of a heterosexual crew to isolation conditions in a small room with an artificial habitat. The isolated module in the Ground Medical and Technical Experimental Complex, where the “cosmonauts” were located, had an area of only eight square meters, which corresponds to the conditions of the Orlyonok small spacecraft, which is being developed by the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation for the lunar mission along with the larger ” Eagle “(the old name is” Federation “). The doctors observed how the crew would interact with a sufficiently serious overcrowding, how much this would affect their psycho-emotional state. This will allow further development of methods of psychological support. Another area of research was studying the effects of stress on the immune system, the mechanism of which is not yet fully understood.
The Moon Landing was carried out using virtual reality. A helmet and a unique hanging system were tested, which made it possible to simulate lunar gravity. This equipment will be used in the future to train the work of researchers on the Moon and Mars.
An eight-month isolation experiment is also planned for 2021, but this time at the famous Vostok station in Antarctica. The exact date due to the pandemic is still unknown. About 15 countries should take part in this international project, and the crew will consist of six people: three men and three women of different nationalities.
Polar bases have long become a source of data for international space agencies on the patterns of response of the human body to various unfavorable factors of long-term space flight, which are in many respects in common with long wintering. These include overcrowding in a limited volume, an altered sleep-wake cycle, autonomous living conditions, monotonous work, difficulties in organizing free time, oxygen starvation, sensory and social deprivation (a decrease in external influences on the sensory organs, which can lead to anxiety, hallucinations, depression, etc.).
During the experiment, using actigraph bracelets, which will be provided by Garmin, the researchers will measure the daily motor activity of astronauts and assess the quality of sleep. The bracelets are supposed to be worn alternately: once every 3 weeks, four subjects wear them for a week, after which they are handed over to the next four subjects. Assessment of the psychophysiological state and mental capacity of the operators will be assessed using tests on laptops. During the experiment, a real lunar expedition will be simulated for the crew using virtual reality, including a flight to the Moon, an orbital flyby to find a landing site, landing and exit to the surface, and return to Earth.
The research will take place within the framework of the SIRIUS project (Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station, Scientific international research in a unique terrestrial complex) – an international experiment to study the psychology and human performance in conditions of long-term isolation of upcoming interplanetary travel. It is conducted jointly by the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the NASA Human Research Program.
Based on materials from IBMP and Roskosmos
Source: Автономная некоммерческая организация "Редакция журнала «Наука и жизнь»" by www.nkj.ru.
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