MOSCOW, September 16 (Itar-Tass) —— The Pilot trainer, which the International Space Station (ISS) is currently using, may become mandatory in preparations of Russian astronauts for space missions, ISS scientific program supervisor from the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Medical and Biological Problems Georgy Samarin said.
“The Pilot is a virtual simulator of the ground-based trainer, which teaches astronauts how to dock and to use the Canadian robotic arm Canadarm. The simulator will help researchers understand how the long stay in zero gravity may affect reactions of astronauts in manual docking and robotic arm manipulation,” he said.
“The Pilot assists the evaluation of the quality of professional activity and psycho-physical condition of astronauts on lengthy missions. There are two methods of the research: regulation and activity,” experiment supervisor Alexander Dudukin told Itar-Tass. “Astronauts take attention, memory and coordination tests and perform operations simulating the docking of resupply ships with various modules of the ISS,” he said.
Pilot training sessions last for about one hour and astronauts take them five times during the flight. Astronauts put on vests with sensors measuring key physiological parameters (heart beat, arterial pressure, temperature and so on). The data is inputted in the ISS computer. The training person has various missions to accomplish, and the computer evaluates the speed of reaction and physiological parameters while he is at work.
In the future results of this research will be used in training astronauts for interplanetary missions. The Pilot trainer was used in the experiment modeling a manned flight to Mars, Mars 500, which ended in November 2012.