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Anti-radiation food developed for Russia’s crewed lunar expedition

In addition, as they carry out their lunar mission, the cosmonauts will need more protein than on the International Space Station, the head of the ISS Crew Nutrition Department stressed

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. An anti-radiation food ration has been developed for cosmonauts of the future Russian lunar expedition, Head of the ISS [International Space Station) Crew Nutrition Department at the Institute of Medical and Biological Studies Alexander Agureyev told TASS on Friday.

"The cosmonauts’ food ration for the lunar program has already been developed. These are foodstuffs with the enhanced biological activity and radio-protective properties," the researcher said.

As Doctor of Biological Sciences, Head of the Experimental Biology and Medicine Department at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems Andrei Shtemberg told TASS on Wednesday, as soon as a spacecraft leaves the boundaries of the Earth’s magnetosphere, it starts to be exposed to solar cosmic rays and galactic cosmic rays.

According to scientists’ data, acute disorders of the central nervous system are observed from the impact of galactic cosmic rays, even if at very small doses: the spatial memory and orientation are impaired. As a result, the cosmonaut’s operational activity may be disrupted.

Considering that the flight will proceed when the cosmonauts’ organism is in the process of its acute adaptation to the zero gravity (this period lasts from two to ten days, depending on the conditions and individual specifics), all the foods will be homogenized and have a bland taste.

As they carry out their lunar mission, the cosmonauts will need more protein than on the International Space Station, he said.

"The protein should be in a slightly larger portion than in the cosmonauts’ present-day ration. It has to make up from 12% to 15% of total energy today whereas this share should be 15%-17% there [during the lunar mission]. Also, there should be slightly less fats in the foods," he noted.

Lunar program

On November 28, the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Council for Outer Space held its session on the concept of exploring the Moon. The program should begin with a series of automatic probes, the first of which, the Luna-25, is scheduled to be launched in 2021.

After automatic probes, a manned flight around the Earth’s natural satellite will be performed. The first flight of the Russian crew to the Moon without landing on the Earth’s natural satellite is planned for 2026. The expedition with the landing option is scheduled for 2031. The construction and the operation of the lunar base are planned for 2040.

Russia is developing the crewed Federatsiya (Federation) spacecraft. Its flight prototype is planned to be produced in 2020 and launched in an unmanned mode in 2021. The first manned flight is scheduled for late 2023.