Author Topic: Russian institute plans all-female simulated moon mission for end of 2015  (Read 14327 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Part of our goal to broaden our coverage area is this article from Tony Quine, who has written for us before - covering this simulated mission. He conducted the interviews and wrote this article. Hat tip to Chris Gebhardt for the subedit.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/08/russian-institute-all-female-simulated-moon-mission-2015/

Offline Jim

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So that is all they can do is simulations?

Offline Rocket Science

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What's the purpose of this? It sounds like some Russian reality show... ???
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Kansan52

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I believe it was during the testimony leading to Constellation that all women long duration missions would be good because they require less water per person. Wondered at the time if it was a gender thing or body mass thing. Would seem likely that a 150 lb person would need less than a 200 lb person regardless of gender.

Was there any indication that was part of the test?

Great article!

Online RonM

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What's the purpose of this? It sounds like some Russian reality show... ???

Note that the volunteers are members of the staff. It will give them perspective for their research. And a little PR doesn't hurt.

Online Dalhousie

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What's the purpose of this? It sounds like some Russian reality show... ???

Human factors research.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Well, to accurately simulate a Lunar mission, they should be in a PTK-L with perhaps an additional small module. The Mars-500 simulator is much too large. There should also be at least one pilot-cosmonaut onboard.

A minor nitpick is that the transliteration of Луна-2015 is Luna-2015. Nobody calls the Soviet Lunar probes Moon. They are called Luna.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online Dalhousie

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Well, to accurately simulate a Lunar mission, they should be in a PTK-L with perhaps an additional small module. The Mars-500 simulator is much too large. There should also be at least one pilot-cosmonaut onboard.


There is a second smaller module that can be used for such purposes, as was the case during Mars 500.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline woods170

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So that is all they can do is simulations?

Well, the USA is not exactly flying to the moon either.
And with regards to BEO missions: NEEMO and DesertRATS are simulations as well.
So...pot meet kettle and vice versa.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2015 09:59 AM by woods170 »

Offline WBY1984

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So that is all they can do is simulations?

How's manned spaceflight of any kind going for you yanks?

#JourneyToMars  ::)
« Last Edit: 08/26/2015 10:29 AM by WBY1984 »

Offline clongton

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This is a big deal, whether you realize it or not, so please don't joke about it.

I believe this is an important step to take. I have heard before about the potential superiority of all female crews vs. all male or mixed gender ones. Men and women are the equal of each other but there are physiological differences between them as individuals and in group environments. Because of the inexcusable exclusion of females from so many mainstream activities and occupations for so long, very little is actually known about how those differences can be properly understood and used to form gender specific and mixed gender crews to man long term missions. We know quite a lot about all male crews, a fair amount about mixed gender crews and next to nothing about all female crews. It is vital to eliminate that shortcoming. Studies like this one, and there needs to be many more of them with different objectives and controls in place, are absolutely necessary.

There has been some work done on understanding how the presence of women changes the dynamics of air crews. The findings have been fascinating so far. For example:

Quote
One study found men scored higher than women on competitiveness, but lower on expressivity and achievement striving [7]. Another study suggested greater female extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Females scored high on these scales and lower on neuroticism and openness than the male comparison group. These personality traits are highly adaptive for military pilots.
http://medind.nic.in/iab/t05/i1/iabt05i1p54.pdf

I applaud our Russian partners for taking this step.
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline baldusi

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Yes. I believe that a series of progressively longer mission simulations would be very important to understand the behavior of females in such stressful situations. What if females, besides using up less resources and usually being smaller, also have better psychological responses to a long term trip? You can't say anything without some actual simulations.

Offline tonyq

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Album of images of most candidates using the "Пилот-Т" simulator programme which is used by cosmonauts before, during and after ISS expeditions to compare their relative performance in docking and other manual flights of Soyuz.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.894384417307471.1073741830.892032917542621&type=3

Offline Chris Bergin

This just got tweeted by @UN_Women, with its 750,000 followers.


Offline Paul Howard

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This just got tweeted by @UN_Women, with its 750,000 followers.



That's impressive!

Offline Lewis007

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Link to the official facebook page (also with text - in Russian)
https://www.facebook.com/luna2015.ru

Offline Burninate

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What are the odds this is legitimate interest in the performance of Russian crews, rather than some unrelated and unknown internal motivation?

My impression is that Russian attitudes towards women & gender equality are well outside of the OECD norm of 2015.  That the Soviet/Russian space program of the past gave up on using women as a regular part of the cosmonaut corps even while the Party was committed to an extreme position in favor of gender equality.  Their society has been getting progressively more conservative under Putin, and Putin's conservative nationalist ideas have become progressively more influential as Russia crosses the line from authoritarian democracy to dictatorship.  Feminists of late have aligned themselves with opposition movements, and those in power with the macho, paternalistic streak in Russian culture - the Russian Orthodox Church calls feminism a 'mortal sin', and says that their dangerous behavior threatens to destroy the motherland.

Last time the idea of mixed-gender crews in Russian simulators made headlines, this happened: http://www.jamesoberg.com/04142000assualt_rus.html
« Last Edit: 08/30/2015 09:05 PM by Burninate »

Offline asmi

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My impression is that Russian attitudes towards women & gender equality are well outside of the OECD norm of 2015.
Is your impression founded on some sort of personal experience, or just propaganda you hear in the media?

Offline Blackstar

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I believe it was during the testimony leading to Constellation that all women long duration missions would be good because they require less water per person. Wondered at the time if it was a gender thing or body mass thing. Would seem likely that a 150 lb person would need less than a 200 lb person regardless of gender.


I was at a panel discussion in DC earlier this year and this subject came up. There were some interesting comments. Yes, women on average require fewer calories than men (I presume the same is true for water usage too). But the issue gets very complicated really fast. For instance, women are more susceptible to radiation-induced cancer than men. Now that doesn't change for the individual woman who is on a mixed-gender or same-gender crew. But if you look at it statistically, flying all women means that you are more likely to have a crewmember eventually get cancer.

The really complex issue is spacecraft design. Spacecraft controls and equipment are designed to an average that takes into account what most of the male and female selected groups can handle. For instance, the distance from a seat to the critical switches. But if you have an all-female crew, there is a much greater chance that some of them are going to fall outside of the baseline and not be able to reach the switches. So should you redesign your spacecraft--and spacesuits--to take this into account? Or should you only accept larger women? And if you do the latter, does the calorie count benefit go away? So it becomes a really complex systems engineering equation that you have to solve.

(It was somewhat amusing watching the audience reaction in the room when this was discussed. The woman who brought up the calorie count thing and proposed an all-female mission to Mars got some light-hearted applause from some of the young women in the room. Then the male engineer spoke and noted the cancer risk and ergonomics issues associated with such a choice and there were a lot of frowns.)

Offline tonyq

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Well, to accurately simulate a Lunar mission, they should be in a PTK-L with perhaps an additional small module. The Mars-500 simulator is much too large. There should also be at least one pilot-cosmonaut onboard.

A minor nitpick is that the transliteration of Луна-2015 is Luna-2015. Nobody calls the Soviet Lunar probes Moon. They are called Luna.
Well, to accurately simulate a Lunar mission, they should be in a PTK-L with perhaps an additional small module. The Mars-500 simulator is much too large. There should also be at least one pilot-cosmonaut onboard.


To clarify, they are using the EU150 module and part of the EU250 module only.

http://mars500.imbp.ru/en/nek.html

I understand that the crew will include a designated 'commander', although there can be no pilot-cosmonaut, as everyone is chosen from the Institute's own people. I guess that they could have invited Anna Kikina to fulfill that position, but perhaps that wasn't possible, as it would have changed Roskosmos' role in the whole project? 

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