MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. Members of the 11-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS) Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and American astronaut Scott Kelly will undergo a special "field test" immediately after returning to Earth on March 2 at the landing site, sources in the Institute of Medico-Biological Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences told TASS on Monday.
"If the participants in six-month expeditions have the right to refuse from the ‘field test’, then Korniyenko and Kelly will surely undergo it. The test will check the spacemen’s physical capacity - the ability to sit, get up from a lying position, to stand still and walk a straight line after a long flight and overload during landing," the institute said.
The institute sources said that this test is necessary to study the physiological capability of man during landing on other planets. The ‘field test’ is carried out in a tent specially pitched at the landing site. The astronauts will be again subjected to similar tests the next day after landing.
Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos said previously that Kelly and Korniyenko would also have to leave their reentry module unaided, thus simulating a landing on Mars where nobody will be meeting them.
Medical checks on the landing site will not differ from the standard ones: the astronauts will undergo breath, cardiography tests, have their blood pressure measured and pass the general medical examination. "From this point of view this expedition will be no different from the similar procedures for other crews," a representative of the Institute of Medico-Biological Problems said.
Earlier, the institute’s Deputy Director Valery Bogomolov told TASS that not all cosmonauts and astronauts could pass the previous ‘field tests’.
Mikhail Korniyenko and Scott Kelly embarked on their space mission to the ISS on March 27, 2015. They were launched into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan) on board the Soyuz TMA-16M spaceship. Their landing is scheduled at 07:25, Moscow time on March 2 147 km from the town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. The astronauts will have lived in space continuously for 340 days. They will return to Earth together with the third crew member - Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov who had a 182-day expedition to the orbiting outpost. They will land on the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft.
For the United States it will be the first long-term space mission experience, while Soviet and Russian cosmonauts had been on a year-long orbital mission. Thus, in 1988 Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov spent 365 days on Russia’s Mir orbital station, and in 1995 Valery Polyakov spent 437 days in orbit, setting a world record for the longest space flight.
After Kelly, Korniyenko and Volkov return to Earth, the ISS mission will be continued by the crew comprising Russia’s Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and Timothy Peake of the UK. On March 19, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexei Ovchinin will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft and join Expedition 47.