Reports of Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly
Dear visitors to the Korolev Planet web site,
The main objectives of the studies conducted within the framework of this program are as follows:
- addressing the effects on human body of long space mission environments and factors, preserving crew health and capacity to work, and providing them with life support;
- Developing new and improving the existing methods and aids for medical support of manned space missions;
- evaluating crew functional capabilities and performance during the early post-flight period;
- studying patterns of intra-group and inter-group dynamics in the course of a long-duration mission of an international crew;
- improving methods and developing the means for evaluating and predicting the reliability of a cosmonaut’s professional activities during complex operator’s tasks.
Dear friends, I’m now in the US segment on treadmill C2. I’m now going to exercise on it. The treadmill is located, from our standpoint, on the wall with respect to our coordinate system. So don’t be surprised at my position. Here we actually don’t care whether it’s a wall, the ceiling, or the floor, although, as a matter of convention, they do exist. Now I’m going to run on the wall, and we’ll probably show you how we exercise on treadmills. There’s a US treadmill, and there’s a Russian treadmill. Now I’m going to have a run at our partners and colleagues’.
On the ISS a manned mission to space last 5 to 6 months. This turns out to be the optimal duration for efficient work performance and completion of the Program of experiments onboard a station in low Earth orbit.
Russia has a unique experience in long-duration space flight. This includes the mission of Vladimir Titov and Musaa Manarov in 1987/1988 which lasted 365 days, the mission of Sergei Avdeev lasting 378 days in 1998/1999 and, of course, the mission of Valeri Polyakov. Russian cosmonaut, physician, researcher Valeri Polyakov completed a long-duration mission lasting 14.5 months (438 days in orbit) onboard manned space station Mir. This record has not yet been broken.
One of the results of Valeri Polyakov’s long stay in orbit was the realization that a manned mission lasting more than a year only makes sense if it is a mission to a planet of our Solar System such as Mars.
This experience accumulated by Soviet (Russian) scientists onboard Mir space station was adopted by the international space community for use onboard the ISS. And he work onboard the ISS led to another important conclusion – exploration of planets in the Solar system is only possible when working together in the framework of international cooperation. That’s why this international long-duration mission medical program was developed, in the implementation of which I’m happy to take part.
The one-year medical program, which we are carrying out, includes 36 experiments. Out of these 36 experiments, 25 experiments are carried out onboard the ISS, while the other 11 experiments only consist of pre-flight and post-flight background studies. Onboard the ISS I participate in the conduct of 14 experiments under the Russian program and five experiments under the US program.
Dear friends, here is the equipment for ultrasonic studies under the Fluid Shifts program. This is a Russian-US experiment, which we conduct jointly with my commander and friend, my fellow one-year flier Scott Kelly (Scott Kelly flies nearer,- Ed.).
I would have never imagined that some day I would be doing an ultrasonic scans of my own heart, looking for valves, ultrasound of eyes and so on, carotid artery... Lots of studies, they are very interesting. I like this experiment, because it heavily relies on technology and is aimed at deep space exploration – missions to Mars and other planets of the Solar system. Of course Scott helps me a lot if I don’t understand something, because it is a complex piece of equipment. He is very helpful and we run this experiment together.
Scott Kelly says:
So, you know, one of the things I find very interesting about this device is when we do it in the Service Module in the Russian Segment. We do this FluidsShift test under a negative pressure in our lower body. There’s a device that the cosmonauts use to prepare to come back to Earth that sorts of simulates gravity, in that it pulls the vacuum and pulls the blood out of the upper part of your head. And we’ll bring this and some other devices to the Russian Segment and do some imaging on our eye, on our heart and some other vessels in our head, in our neck to see, you know, what the changes are with varying levels of pressure in our lower bodies. As if, you know, we can then deduce what the changes are as a result of being in space and perhaps how to prevent those changes.
Thank you, Scott.
The joint experiment run onboard the ISS is called Fluid Shifts. It is being run onboard the ISS using scientific equipment on both Russian and US segments, and in addition to this a joint experiment implies mutual exchange of results.
This experiment studies movement of bodily fluids - venous, arterial and cerebrospinal fluid components - before, after and during long-duration spaceflight and connections between this phenomenon and intracranial pressure and impairment of vision.
The experiment is only conducted three times over our long-duration mission (in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end of the one-year mission). We have already done this experiment twice. This experiment isn’t very simple – preparations and conduct of some of the studies under this experiment takes ten days.
I sincerely hope that the results of the studies me and Scott participate in, will help to minimize health risks for the participants of a future mission to Mars.