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ISS year-long expedition crew members to take special test after landing

July 15, 2015, 16:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A "field test" is carried out right at the landing capsule in a tent to check the elementary abilities — to sit, get up unaided, rise from a prone position, the ability to stand and walk straight
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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (left) and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko (right)

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (left) and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko (right)

© EPA Archive/SERGEI ILNITSKY

MOSCOW, July 15. /TASS/. The current International Space Station (ISS) crew members — Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, after a 12-month mission at the station will undergo a special test immediately after landing, Deputy Director of the Institute of Medico-Biological Problems (IMBP) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Valery Bogomolov told TASS on Wednesday.

"In the post-flight period, cosmonauts undergo a ‘field test’ right at the landing capsule in a tent to check their elementary abilities — to sit, get up unaided, rise from a prone position, the ability to stand and walk straight," he said. "Kelly and Korniyenko will undergo this test not only at the landing site, but also on the second day after landing. This test with the use of special equipment is applied by our experts and the Americans to fully analyze the astronauts’ moving abilities."

According to the scientist, the "field test’s" pilot version has already been applied to check astronauts after five flights. Not all of them could cope with the tasks.

"This test is used to elaborate a set of exercises during the flight to prevent the revealed changes," the IMBP deputy director said. During space flight crew members must have regular exercise for at least two hours daily. This is a measure to prevent the spaceflight factors’ negative impact on human organism and to make astronauts ready for return to Earth.

Bogomolov said that the contemporary space medicine is moving away from the practice of the past when medics believed that astronauts should be spared from exercise. Today, the Cosmonaut Training Centre runs a program called Sozvezdiye (Constellation), under which the cosmonauts on the first day after the flight undergo centrifuge testing in accordance with the launch schedule and perform certain operations in a spacesuit. "These measures are aimed primarily at the study of physical abilities during the post-flight period. The test provides data on the overall body condition for planning manned flights to other planets," the scientist said.

Kelly and Korniyenko blasted off to the International Space Station in late March and are due to return to Earth in early March next year. The purpose of the year-long mission is to understand the reaction of the human body to the adaptation process in conditions of weightlessness.

According to NASA, American astronaut "Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko will spend nearly twelve months conducting important human research studies that will provide new insights into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and stress of long-duration spaceflight. This is just the next step in preparing humanity for the ultimate goal: the journey to Mars."

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