Defines requirements for the preparation of the Russian expedition to the moon

The experience of training of Soviet cosmonauts and American space missions “Apollo” helped in determining the training requirements of members of the Russian expedition to the moon, reports RIA “Novosti” with reference to the latest issue of the scientific journal “Manned space flight”, published by the Russian cosmonaut training Center named after Gagarin.

Experts point out that, in preparing missions to the moon require to take into account all the working conditions of astronauts on its surface. Among the features: a lower level of gravity (about 6 times less than on Earth), lack of atmosphere, considerable daily temperature fluctuations on the surface (fluctuations from minus 200 to plus 130 degrees Celsius). The difficulty astronauts will deliver close enough visible horizon. For example, cosmonaut growth of 1.75 meters would see the moon on the horizon at a distance of 2.47 kilometres, compared with 4.7 kilometres on the Ground. It’s difficult to create difficult terrain, adhering to all the subjects of lunar dust, the delay of a radio signal sent from Earth to the moon and back. Among the threats to the crew, scientists also emit radiation hazard and the possibility of falling meteorites.

At the same time, some working conditions on the moon’s surface will be quite familiar by astronauts and experts, who will conduct their training. We are talking about the options similar to the terms of the spacewalk aboard the International space station. Among them: lack of atmosphere, large temperature fluctuations, solar radiation. Therefore, in the training of astronauts working on the lunar surface, the special simulation of these conditions is not required, experts say.

“Based on the analysis of the peculiarities and main tasks of the extravehicular activity of astronauts on the moon’s surface has developed a list of standard operations for training astronauts. Identified technical means for training astronauts to work in the lunar gravity conditions in the ground conditions and assessment of the capabilities of processing typical operations on these resources”, — writes the edition.

The main difference in working on the moon’s surface from space walks from the ISS will be the gravity.

“The existence of gravity determines the way the movement of astronauts on the feet (walking movements) or moving with the use of vehicles (Rovers). Suggesting the movement of astronauts on considerable removal from the lunar landing modules and lunar base modules on routes with difficult terrain and different properties of soil (lunar regolith)”, — reported in the article.

Special attention, according to experts, in the simulation of the working conditions of astronauts on the moon needs to be given to soil characteristics near the craters on their slopes, and severe slopes.

“We also need to take into account the considerable duration of the lunar day (day and night), difficulty visually determining the distances and delays of a radio signal from Earth”, — experts warn.

To compile requirements for training of cosmonauts for space flight to the moon experts of CTC used the lessons from Russia and the United States experience of conducting spacewalks from the space stations and ships, as well as data obtained during the preparation of the Soviet lunar program and implemented American manned missions.

“Analysis of the results of the six missions to land on the moon in the Apollo program performed by NASA astronauts from 1969 to 1972, as well as several ground-based studies allowed to determine the effect of lunar gravity on the energy demands and human performance on the surface of the moon. American astronauts have noted that to move on the surface of the moon was easier than in land-based simulators that simulate lunar gravity”, comment the experts.

During his stay on the moon, astronauts tried different ways of movement: walking, skipping when walking and running. It turned out that the best way to travel is to regular walking, which had all the time to lean forward to compensate for the deflection of the body back under the weight of the container with a life support system.

A similar assessment of the main methods of transportation on the lunar surface was obtained by national experts during the ground investigations and testing for the training of Soviet cosmonauts to the moon landing. According to these estimates, the movement will affect the surface topography and properties of the soil. They will depend on the posture and method of movement. For example, experts found that the astronauts from the lunar gravity and soil will have to consider the inertia of the movement.

“In the process of training you will need to provide the ability to move the astronaut complex microrelief of the terrain over large distances on foot or by Rover, and the availability of layouts, equipment and instrument (with a weight of 1/6 of earth’s) used by them in the performance of tasks”.

Experts warn that in preparation for work on the moon’s surface arise a difficult task for simulation of low gravity conditions on Earth. It is proposed to use lunar polygons, gym and hydro laboratory in which to work in the open space now trained crews.

The training of astronauts will need to spend using the models of the lunar spacesuits, which provides more accurate playback limitations (mass, size, climate, mobility and elasticity of the sleeves and legs, the tactile sensitivity of the gloves).

Experts note that the use of spacesuits designed for use in space, not really suitable for training to work on the moon, so for the training of members of the Russian expedition will need to create your own lunar space suits and their specialized training layouts.

We will remind that the agreement on cooperation between state Corporation “Roskosmos” and NASA in the exploration and development of outer space, including the agreement on cooperation in the exploration of the moon, was signed in September 2017. The Federal space program of Russia for 2016-2025 also provides for the creation of the necessary basis for full-scale exploration of the moon after 2025 and the implementation, by 2030, landing there the first Russian cosmonaut.

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