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Russian neutral buoyancy pool for space training to resume work in May-June

The facility was closed for reconstruction in 2014

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. The Hydro Lab of Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in the Star City near Moscow, which includes a neutral buoyancy pool for weightless environment training of cosmonauts, will resume its operations in late May or early June after a lengthy reconstruction, the center’s head Pavel Vlasov told TASS on Sunday.

"It will start functioning in late May or early June. By that time, we will complete procedures needed to put it back into operation. Once they are over, we will be able to use it again," Vlasov said, adding that cosmonauts will start practicing there some time later.

The Hydro Lab was created in early 1980s to provide weightless environment training to cosmonauts. It includes a 12-meter-deep neutral buoyancy pool, in which about 5,000 dives have been performed by cosmonauts wearing Orlan spacesuits.

At first, it was equipped with mockups of Russia’s Salyut and Mir space station segments. Now it features modules of the International Space Station (ISS).

The facility was closed for reconstruction in 2014. It was scheduled to be over in 2015, but numerous delays followed.