MOSCOW, November 14 The Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) of the Russian Academy of Sciences began an experiment to isolate a crew of six to simulate a flight to the Moon, testing will last a year, the correspondent reports.
Six participants in the SIRIUS-23 project set off on a year-long “flight” after the hatch of the institute’s experimental facility was closed. The crew included five Russians: commander Yuri Chebotarev, flight engineer Anzhelika Parfenova, doctor Ksenia Orlova, as well as researchers Ksenia Shishenina and Rustam Zaripov. Another researcher is the representative of Belarus Olga Mastitskaya.
According to the experiment scenario, the crew will “reach” the lunar orbit in four days, where they will “dock” to the lunar orbital station. In a month, a retrofitting transport ship should “arrive” to them. It is planned that the participants will gather five times in groups of four and in this composition “land” on the surface of the Moon.
The return “flight” to Earth will begin on the 362nd day of the mission. The “return” will take four days. In addition, during the experiment, emergency situations will be simulated for its participants. Participants from India, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, Canada, Malaysia, the United States and Korea are expected to participate in the experiments during the year-long study.
As IBMP director Oleg Orlov said, part of the experiments will be devoted to practical medicine for future use on Earth. The head of the IBMP scientific direction, Viktor Baranov, clarified that 18 experiments in psychology and 11 in microbiology will be conducted.
In general, according to Baranov, there will be fewer experiments than during previous isolations of four and eight months, but this time scientists are going to get more data to compare them with the results of previous experiments.
The international project SIRIUS (Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station) is carried out on the basis of IBMP and includes a series of isolation experiments to simulate space flights. Experiments have already been conducted for 17 days – in November 2017, four months – in 2018-2019, eight months – in 2021-2022. In addition to the Russian participants, the crews included researchers from the USA, Germany and the UAE.
Initially, the isolation experiment program was planned as a joint one with NASA, but in April 2023 the Americans suspended their participation in it.