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Chronicles from Concordia

White Mars: the ESA experiments

2 Nov 2018, 10:38 UTC
White Mars: the ESA experiments
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station. Credits: ESA/NASA
Dr. Carmen Possnig is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. She facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. In the following post, Carmen discusses the European experiments she is performing in Antarctica.
“Next scenario: You are a pilot in the Soyuz, autopilot docking doesn’t work, you have to do it manually. At the same time you realize that the International Space Station has a problem: it is out of control and rotates around an axis. Good luck!”
I enter the scenario into the computer and wait until my respondent has completed the preflight checks and selected a target. Then I close the curtain and my colleague is now undisturbed – with his monitors he can fully concentrate on docking to the Space Station. Then I lean back and watch the flight progress.
Testing fine motor skills. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–M. Buttu
For one of the ESA experiments my crew members fly a Soyuz capsule simulator every month. The Soyuz is the Russian spacecraft that currently brings astronauts to the International Space ...

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