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US, Russia Lunar Simulation Flights Will Have 50% Women Crew

Women will share 50% of crew space in the second phase of SIRIUS, a combined project undertaken by Russia and the U.S. to conduct lunar simulation flights. This was announced by Mark Belakovsky who represented the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBMP RAS).

The selection of ten individuals will be done by a medical commission around the 9th or 10th January of this year and they will soon start getting trained for their program from 14th January onwards. A six people crew is designed for the simulated flight which will also have a minimum of two foreigners and a Russian medic as stated by the scientist. As per their policy which has support of their U.S. women colleagues will be given 50% representation in the crew and accordingly a minimum of two women will be a part of the crew though three women will be more preferred. Belakovsky spoke on behalf of the Russian participation in the experiment.

The chosen six individuals will begin working jointly within the facility for a period of three days as February comes to a close and that will be their dry run. The project launch will begin in the opening week of March.

The experiment’s second phase involves a fifteen day long run followed by 120 days for which they will remain in isolation. For the first fifteen days the crew will be based in Moscow where they will inspect the facility’s systems. The isolation experiment will be conducted in the same facility for the stipulated period of 120 days as they simulate lunar flight conditions.

SIRIUS was a result of a 2016 cooperation agreement between NASA and IBMP to carry out a number of experiments simulating lunar flights. The experiment’s first phase lasting for a period of 17 days was completed in 2017 and the experiment period is set to increase year on year. The second isolation phase of the experiment will begin from March 1, 2019.

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