the Sirius Project It is a very long experience that started in 2017 and is witnessing participation NASA’s Human Research Program and space agencies of Russia, Germany and France.
The first two phases of the project have already been completed, and the third major experiment of the SIRIUS program is now taking place – at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
SIRIUS-21: A Simulation of Life in Space
The third phase of SIRIUS, which began in the first week of November and will continue for another 6 months, aims to pave the way for future long-duration space missions through assessment Possible psychological effects of life in space.
The experiment thus recreates the conditions of extreme isolation that astronauts will undergo: it includes a range of You are volunteersMade to live for 240 days Not only in isolation, but within one mission to the moon – imitated
SIRIUS-21 requires volunteers to perform all operations expected by the mission, from launch to landing and back to Earth.
According to the Russian news agency TASS, the goal of the project is to “study problems related to human behavior in an enclosed space, including psychological ones.”
Sergey Ponomarev, the project manager, recently in a long interview with SwordsToday: “The main goal is Laying a scientific and practical foundation for deep space travel“. From the third stage of SIRIUS, according to Ponomarev, we will have the opportunity to obtain important data on the effects of long-term space travel on the physical and mental health of astronauts.
waiting for results
SIRIUS stands for International Scientific Research on a Unique Ground Station, and defines a major structure within the Institute for Biomedical Problems in Russian Academy of Sciences. Here it is reconstructed Spaceship’s interior environment, but the volunteers participating in the project will also be able to experience life on the moon, thanks to special support that allows you to simulate lunar gravity through the use of virtual technology.
In the course of the experiment, volunteers follow the lockdown A scientific program that includes more than 70 experiments, Ranging from psychology to microbiology. In their spare time, Ponomarev explains, “they can read books or play board games.” Of course, they can abandon the experiment for any reason and without giving an explanation.
The hope is to obtain, at the end of a very long period of seclusion, the gods Tangible findings on the psychological effects of life in space. And they are not of the same type obtained from the previous two experiments.
The results of other experiments, conducted in 2017 and 2019 respectively, in fact fully confirmed the researchers’ fears: Communication delays due to simulating distance, over time, cause a kind of “disconnection” from the task. Astronauts tend, that is, to become completely independent of mission control: a risk that cannot be operated on in a real space mission.
True, the quality of the results obtained was not final: “each new experiment adds new data to those obtained previously” Ponomarev comments and From every experience we have new answers“.
So the fate of the SIRIUS project is still long, with A fourth trial is ready to start in 2022. “We hope to have many years of experience in the next few years” concludes the project manager: Next experience It will simulate a mission to MarsIt will also include experiences in the medical field.
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