Six Russian women in a sealed room and it may get hot – no this isn’t a scene from a movie, but a scientific experiment dubbed ‘Luna-2015’. For eight whole days these female scientists will learn how to survive in conditions imitating flight to the moon.
The purpose of this ‘girls-only’ flight is to see how females will respond to conditions in space mentally and what physical adaptations they will have to endure.
The whole imitation experiment takes place in the Institute of Medical-Biological problems near Moscow and it will last eight days – three to ‘reach’ the Moon, two for ‘orbiting’ the Earth’s satellite and three more days to ‘return’. During these days, six women will learn how to interact with each other and live in a confined space.
In August, the institute chose 10 female candidates, for two months each has undergone numerous tests, both psychological and physical to prove that she is suitable for the ‘job’. On Tuesday, the project leaders announced six lucky stars, who are now sealed off in the Luna-2015 capsule.
“It’s a scientific project. We have over 30 experiments during these studies. We have a lot of things to do inside,” Daria Komissarova, a crew member, told RT.
RT correspondent William Whiteman visited the facility ahead of the experiment’s start. The premises look like a common apartment – a small cozy kitchen with pretty flowers on the table, gym and several rooms. But the women will have to experience the same conditions in terms of comfort as space travelers at the ISS.
Cameras will be recording the women’s every move. All of them will carry out experiments to analyze how they bodies would react during the ‘space’ trip. They will also test their stress levels during the simulation.
“This method is used to understand how threshold of pain sensitivity alters during flight,” another ‘moon traveler’, Tatiana Shigueva, explained pointing at one of the devices on the table. “It will be used during our experiment.”
According to the project leader Sergey Ponomarev, such experiments with females-only crew haven’t been carried out yet. Any technical fault or an emergency situation may lead to serious consequences, says the institute’s website.
Mars enthusiasts around the world can participate in NASA’s journey to Mars by adding their names to a silicon microchip headed to the Red Planet aboard NASA’s InSight Mars lander, scheduled to launch next year.
“Our next step in the journey to Mars is another fantastic mission to the surface,” said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “By participating in this opportunity to send your name aboard InSight to the Red Planet, you’re showing that you’re part of that journey and the future of space exploration.”
Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 8.
The fly-your-name opportunity comes with “frequent-flier” points to reflect an individual’s personal participation in NASA’s journey to Mars, which will span multiple missions and multiple decades. The InSight mission offers the second such opportunity for space exploration fans to collect points by flying their names aboard a NASA mission, with more opportunities to follow.
Last December, the names of 1.38 million people flew on a chip aboard the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will carry astronauts to deep space destinations including Mars and an asteroid. After InSight, the next opportunity to earn frequent flier points will be NASA’s Exploration Mission-1, the first planned test flight bringing together the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule in preparation for human missions to Mars and beyond.
InSight will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in March 2016 and land on Mars Sept. 28, 2016. The mission is the first dedicated to the investigation of the deep interior of the planet. It will place the first seismometer directly on the surface of Mars to measure Martian quakes and use seismic waves to learn about the planet’s interior. It also will deploy a self-hammering heat probe that will burrow deeper into the ground than any previous device on the Red Planet. These and other InSight investigations will improve our understanding about the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth.
Send your name on InSight