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Russian scientist sees need to include women in space crews

The scinetist commented on the ongoing SIRIUS isolation experiment, in which three men and three women took part

MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. The presence of women in space crews creates a better team environment, so it would be feasible to include women into future interplanetary missions, a Russian scientist overseeing the SIRIUS isolation experiment said on Friday.

For the first time in the history of such tests, the crew of a simulated space mission to the Moon comprised the equal number of men and women.

"Women make crews more harmonic, they instill a greater sense of responsibility in men <…>. So, I think this is important for interplanetary stations. The time of purely male crews gradually becomes a thing of the past," Vadim Gushchin, a leading researcher at the Russian Institute of Medical and Biological Problems’s psychophysiology department, said in a video posted by Roscosmos on YouTube.

The SIRIUS (Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station) experiment, which began on March 19, simulates a flight to the Moon: the travel to the Earth’s natural satellite and a flight around it to search for a landing place, the landing of crewmembers for operations on the surface, the stay in the Moon’s orbit and the remote control of a lunar rover to prepare a base and return to Earth.

The crew comprises four representatives of Russia and two representatives of the United States. The commission has approved cosmonaut Yevgeny Tarelkin as the crew commander and Daria Zhidova (Russia) as the flight engineer, Stefania Fedyai (Russia) as the crew doctor, Reinhold Povilaitis (USA), Anastasia Stepanova (Russia) and Allen Mirkadyrov (USA) as test researchers.

Currently, SIRIUS entered its final stage. In late May, four crew members performed a simulated landing to the Moon, returned to their spacecraft and are now getting ready for a return flight. The experiment will be completed on July 17.

SIRIUS is being held by the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences jointly with NASA and in cooperation with partners from Germany, France, Italy and other countries. It envisages a series of experiments to prepare for deep space flights.