“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

Hero of Russia, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin on how to fulfill his dream, if not everything works the first time (spoiler - you need to try again), and how to play sports in space .

“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

Anatoly Ivanishin

- As a child, I did not think about becoming an astronaut - I wanted to be a pilot, dreamed of flying. This is my favorite thing, and it remains so until now.

Therefore, after school I decided to enter an aviation school. But for the first time it didn’t work out - the medical examination board did not go through. For a whole year he was engaged in special exercises for the eyes to do on the second attempt. And he did.

I also didn’t get into the astronauts the first time.

But here it was not vision that prevented me - growth interfered. It turned out to be high - 1 meter 82 centimeters. Such high astronauts did not take. The restrictions were lifted only after a few years. All this time I did not lose hope that someday I would nevertheless fly into space.

I tried to go through the commission again. And it all worked out.

The preparation of the astronaut for the flight can take a long time. Even the last stage, when you are already preparing as part of the crew with which you must fly, takes about two and a half years. On Earth, the astronaut formally has a regular eight-hour working day.

But this is not enough for me. Not enough for everyone, I think. There is a lot to learn, to prepare for a lot. Control systems, the basics of navigation, preparation for work on the ISS and conducting experiments (we learn how to even take blood samples for analysis on our own - I once at the ISS was only able to do this every sixth time). Improving behavior skills on a spaceship and space station.

English should be at a high level so that you can communicate freely with astronauts from other countries. Physical fitness, of course. I always went in for sports a lot: athletics, swimming, parachuting - more than 500 parachute jumps. At the astronaut specialized physical training is added to the general physical activity. For example, preparation for a stay in zero gravity.

Zero-gravity conditions on Earth can be created, for example, on a specially adapted IL-76 MDK airplane. The state of free flight in it is achieved due to the movement of the aircraft along a special trajectory and lasts about 25 seconds. In one flight, such a regime of zero gravity can be performed about ten times. At the same time, it is absolutely safe inside the aircraft - all walls are upholstered with soft materials.

Special trainings were also developed in case of emergency situations when landing.

The astronauts are learning what to do if the lander has landed on water, how to survive in the wild and be able to wait for rescuers even in very cold weather.

When I was on the ISS, I trained a lot to muscle worked. But the sensations when returning to Earth are still the same, as if learning to walk again.

“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

Photos of Anatoly Ivanishin from the ISS

“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

Photos of Anatoly Ivanishin from the ISS

During adaptation to zero gravity, a person experiences a cosmic illness. The reason is that our vestibular apparatus is not adapted to stay in this state. Symptoms of space sickness are similar to motion sickness - nausea, dizziness, headache.

The intensity of sensations is different in each case. Someone has to resort to medicines, for example, I coped myself. The vestibular apparatus for a long time gets used to returning to Earth. Previously, when I saw that after landing people could barely take two steps, I thought that they did not train enough while they were on the ISS, and now their muscles fail. Therefore, when I was at the International Space Station, I myself approached training very seriously - I did a lot.

But the sensations when returning to Earth are still the same, as if learning to walk again. And you won’t do anything about it.

The first time I spent 165 days in space, the second - 115 This is quite a lot. When the astronaut has been in a state of weightlessness for a long time, he needs to play sports for several hours a day , otherwise the muscles do not get enough load. There is a treadmill on the ISS.

To engage in it, you need to fix yourself with special straps - otherwise you will just be fingering in the air. Fasteners help to get an effect similar to a workout on Earth from a workout. There is an exercise bike. And in the American segment there is also a power transformer simulator, adapted for several types of exercises at once: bench presses, pulls, squats. One of them is very insidious - lifting on socks.

There, before performing, it is necessary to fix the bar in a certain way. All of this is periodically forgotten, of course. Even a warning sticker on the simulator does not help. I somehow forgot too. Oh, I spent a lot of energy when I got out of there later.

And you won’t call anyone for help - the ventilation is very noisy, and the station is large, the size of a football field. I had to cope myself.

“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

Classes at the ISS power simulator

At the final stages of the flight we do additional exercises.

For example, about a month before returning to Earth, astronauts periodically put on a special device: it looks like pants and is called "Lapwing." This is a special load-bearing suit in which a vacuum is created to ensure the outflow of blood to the legs. So we gradually get used to earthly conditions.

Another “costume” is called “Penguin”. It loads the human skeleton.

What is this for? In zero gravity conditions, the entire load is removed from the spine, natural bends are straightened, the spine is extended. And man in space is growing - he can add 5-6 centimeters. This is not very good, especially considering that the spacesuit and a special seat for the spacecraft in which the astronaut will return to Earth are made by individual standards. When we wear the Penguin, special rubber traction loads the spine and gradually returns the astronaut to his usual parameters.

Of course, the astronauts are tense before the start.

Yes, all emergency situations have been worked out, everything is ready. But there is still excitement - it’s not a taxi to go to work.

Shower after training? Of course it is possible. Only as such, there is no soul on the ISS. There is soap, shampoos and a towel that are soaked in hot water.

This is a towel and replaces us with a bath.

“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

They ask me what I felt when I first saw the Earth from the porthole of a spaceship. And I reply that there was no time to admire.

In the first hours of the flight a lot of work. Yes, and to observe the Earth from the porthole of the ship is not recommended - it will only intensify space sickness. From the station, of course, I watched. Especially in their native Irkutsk. He photographed a lot during the first expedition.

But I am not a very impressionable person. And I think that for an astronaut this is more a plus than a minus. Space leaves little room for emotion - too much work. I dreamed that I would fly to the ISS and read a book there, but even that was not enough time. I got enough sleep there - after a five-hour sleep I felt cheerful.

But even when he got up early, it seemed that time was running too fast due to how many things were doing.

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The same with pre-flight excitement. Of course, before the start, the astronauts are tense. Yes, we come to Baikonur in advance, in 2-3 weeks, and preparation, as I said, we generally begin in a few years. Yes, all emergency situations have been worked out, everything is ready.

But there is still excitement - it’s not a taxi to go to work. And at that moment it’s good to concentrate on what you need to do. It helps to not give in to emotions.

“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

Photos taken by Anatoly Ivanishin from the ISS

“There is no soul as such on the ISS.” How cosmonauts train

Photos taken by Anatoly Ivanishin from the ISS

A small circular training session from NASA astronauts. Before starting, it is recommended to do an easy three-minute warm-up, and it is best to finish the lesson with stretching exercises. The main part of the training is performed in three circles.

  • pull-ups - 45 seconds;
  • rest - 15 seconds;
  • squats - 45 seconds;
  • rest - 15 seconds;
  • jumps with legs apart ("jumping jack") - 45 seconds;
  • rest - 15 seconds;
  • pull-ups - 45 seconds;
  • rest - 15 seconds;
  • lunges - 45 seconds;
  • rest - 15 seconds.
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