The cosmonaut candidates in the 2021 enrollment are embarking on one of the most difficult stages of general space training: spending three days in an isolation chamber. At the same time, 64 hours without sleep. The first was cosmonaut candidate Alexander Kolyabin, who entered the isolation chamber this morning, and must leave it on September 17, 2021.
According to Roskosmos, a team of specialists on duty at the Cosmonaut Training Center (psychologist, doctor, engineer) will watch around the clock how their wards endure the conditions of isolation. In doing so, they will be engaged in a variety of things. These are numerous tasks in the framework of psychological testing, participation in medical examinations, physical education, keeping oral reports and a diary. The schedule even includes a demonstration of creativity – drawing and sculpting on a given topic, origami, songwriting, etc.
Almost half of the total time, according to the specialists of the state corporation, will be spent on psychological tests. The main task is to study the neuropsychic stability of astronaut candidates.
At the same time, for example, watching movies or listening to music in the isolation chamber is prohibited, despite the presence of a computer. You cannot use a smartphone or tablet. No electronic devices. But you can collect puzzles, solve a crossword puzzle, play musical instruments, read. Although the latter is just not recommended.
“Someone takes sports equipment with them to the isolation chamber, someone takes acupuncture mats, that is, an object that will help fight sleep. But reading books in private, on the contrary, increases sleepiness, especially at the stage when a person is very tired In addition, test participants perform many test tasks on paper forms and on computers, their eyes get tired. Therefore, we do not recommend reading books in private time, “said the head of the laboratory of the CTC Kamilya Musabayeva on the Roscosmos website.
The worst thing about the isolation chamber is not only forced insomnia. This, as scientists note, is loneliness, enclosed space, lack of sunlight and extraneous sounds.
It must be said that from the first cosmonaut corps, the isolation chamber was one of the most severe strength tests for future cosmonauts. Here is what “RG” was told by twice Hero of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR Boris Volynov. The last of the living cosmonauts of the legendary first squad – the “Gagarin” set:
“It was in 1960 after parachute training,” recalls Boris Valentinovich. – Behind 35 jumps. Everyone was given a chance to catch their breath, 2-3 days of vacation. And me once – and into the isolation chamber, following Bykovsky. Imagine: a small metal pressure chamber. Everything is filled with banks, bottles, food … There is an aviation chair. You throw your back to sleep – and it is no longer possible to get up, there is no room for legs. When the back is upright, you can “have fun” – do exercises, run, jump. But in one place. I was in prison for ten days. Valery too. “