How things work: space flight
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center. Yuri Gagarin Air Force Colonel Valery Tokarev told about who takes into space on the euphoria of weightlessness and how scary to walk into a dark abyss.
I would not say that there is terrible. You are a professional and adaptirueshsya to work, so you have time to think about fear. I was not afraid at the start or on the descent - we also constantly recorded and heart rate, and blood pressure. At the station at all after a while you feel like home. But there is a delicate moment when you have to go into outer space. Downright do not want to go there.
This is the first parachute jump. That's before you an open door, and height of 800 meters. While sitting on the plane and under you like some solid - no big deal. And then it is necessary to step into the void. Win off the natural human instinct of self-preservation. The same feeling, only much more powerful when you go out into open space.
Before leaving you wear a spacesuit in the airlock was depressurized, but was still inside the station, which flies at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour in its orbit, but it's your house. And then you open the door - opens manually - and there is darkness, the abyss.
When you're on the shady side, you can not see anything beneath them. And you know that hundreds of kilometers below the abyss of darkness, and the darkness of you lit habitable stations need to go where there is nothing.
In this case, you in the suit, which is not a business suit in it uncomfortable. He is tough, and this rigidity must be overcome physically. Move only on the hands, feet hanging ballast. Besides deteriorating visibility. And you need to move along the station. And you realize that if unhooked, death is inevitable. Suffice it to two centimeters to miss, you can not have enough of one millimeter - and will be forever drifting away from the station, but do not push off from what, and you have no one to help.
But even get used to it. When the pop-up on the sunny side, it becomes clear the planet, the native Blue Earth, becoming calmer, even if it is from you thousands of miles.
About what to take astronauts
Astronaut can become any citizen of Russia, suitable for specific requirements. This is only the first, Gagarin, the set was of military pilots, and then began to take more and engineers, and members of other professions. Now the application can be submitted to the astronauts, having any higher education, though philology. And then people are selected according to the standard: check the health, conduct psychological tests ... In the last set, for example, only one pilot.
But in the space as a result of flying, not all, according to statistics about 40-50% of those who received training. Candidate constantly being prepared, but not the fact that in the end will take flight.
Minimal preparation time - five years: half the total space training, then a half year training in a group - this is not the crew, still half years training in a carriage with which to fly. But on average, before the first flight takes much more time - someone ten years, someone even longer. Therefore, young and unmarried astronauts are rare. In the training center for people coming usually at the age of 30, usually married.
Astronaut has to learn the International Space Station, ship, flight dynamics, theory of flight, ballistics ... Our task is also included in the orbit to conduct survey, assemble and send to Earth scenes from the station. Therefore astronauts learn and camera work. And, of course, the requirements for maintaining the physical form of the constant, as in athletes.
We joke that the astronauts selected for health and then ask both smart. Health problem is not even to survive an overload, it is not as difficult as one might think, now even untrained people fly into space as tourists.
But tourists still fly for a week, and a professional astronaut in orbit spends many months. And we worked there. This tourist on takeoff strapped to a chair - and all its task - to survive. A cosmonaut to work, despite the overload: and communications support to the earth, and be ready to take control in the event of failure - in general, should control everything.
Medical selection cosmonauts now, as before, is very complicated. We took him in the seventh scientific test Air Force hospital in Sokolniki and called this place "the Gestapo." Because there right through you scan something forced to drink something ukolyut something torn out.
Then it was fashionable to remove the tonsils, say. They have not hurt me at all, but I was told that it is necessary to cut. And when you go through screening, doctors contradict our own peril.
Then I look further: "And let you remove the tooth?" - And he was a native, only the nerve away from there! And doctors felt that the space may ache, and pulled out. This is the only tooth that I pulled in my life.
Although some have been much worse. Many pilots were afraid to go to the astronauts, because many of them after medical examination is deducted from the Flight of work. So you and do not fly into space, and on the plane you fly ban.
On the first flight
You long to cook for him, you're a professional, everything you can, but you never really did not feel a sense of weightlessness.
Everything happens very quickly: preflight excitement, then a strong vibration, acceleration, handling, and then - again! You're in space. The engine stops - and silence. And at the same time the whole crew floats, so you buckled straps, but the body has obezvesheno. Here then comes a feeling of euphoria. Outside the window - the brightest paints. In space, no halftones, everything is saturated, high contrast.
Just want to feel everything, whirl in the air, to succumb to feelings of joy, but when you're a member of the crew in the first place to work. A lot of things going on at the same time: it is necessary to ensure that, as disclosed antenna, check for leaks and so on. And only after you made sure that everything is in order, you can remove the suit and really enjoy weightlessness - pokuvyrkatsya.
Again, tumble dangerous. I remember experienced astronauts began to move very smoothly, and we novices, steep-spun. And then the vestibular apparatus is crazy. And you realize that you have to be careful with it, because it may begin nausea.
Is that you in the world ran to the toilet, and even if not ran - do not worry. And there, if missed, it will all be flying within the atmosphere. And it will be necessary to collect a special vacuum cleaner. But the smell will not collect a vacuum cleaner. And the atmosphere alone, and she spoils.
Odor at the station constantly accumulate, so that when you arrive there for the first time, do not feel very comfortable. We are there and engage in sports, and do not open the window, not ventilate.
But people get used to smells very quickly. So you can not say that all the time in orbit you feel discomfort. Only the first time you open the hatch of the ship and swam to the station. Although a few months ago from the start time to the dock was 34 hours, so that the atmosphere on the ship had time to be filled with different smells and did not feel much of a difference. It is now flying six hours, so that the ship remains more or less fresh air.
The first days of difficult to sleep: the head feels no support, it is very unusual. Some are tied to his head sleeping bag. No items can not be left unfastened: fly away. But a week later you are completely used to the weightlessness and live in normal mode, is produced daily routine: how much sleep when there.
Feet in weightlessness you do not use at all, some muscle atrophy, despite the fact that every day you train on special simulators. Therefore, the return to Earth is much harder than fly, overload transferred harder.
And then the first time in the world you still can not get used, it is necessary to carry the weight of his body. There's also a finger pushed - flew. Transfer objects do not need to someone, threw subject - he flew. What some have sinned after six months spent in space? Meal, someone asked me to tell anything, glass, for example. Well astronaut and throws his glass across the table.
About the International Space Station
Station as spacecraft consists of modules. These compartments four meters in diameter and no more than 15 meters in length. Each astronaut has a corner: you come at night, tie a sleeping bag, he swims there. Usually swims near a laptop, radio, so you can you, if anything, to quickly raise.
It's like a hostel. Nothing is isolated, even cabins without screens, only the toilet can be a bit of privacy. Although American ships fully insulated cabins.
Finding the station like no prison or a hospital. It's just your job with a specific task. It is necessary to conduct experiments, to withdraw the station from debris impact, keep her job, change some equipment if necessary.
It is believed that the crews of astronauts in carefully selected for psychological characteristics, but it is not so. If a multinational crew, each country simply provides his own man. During the preparation of doctors, of course, watch how you approach each other.
But I've always been lucky with the crews. Some astronauts after a joint flight in the world with each other do not communicate, and here I am with all my colleagues to maintain a relationship.
While in space, emotions, as well as color, very rich. They occur more strongly enough the slightest push - and immediately scandal. That is the main art - the art of managing themselves. How on earth in general.
On the Meaning of
My journey to the astronauts was pretty consistent. I learned not in the flying school Flight job I liked, but I constantly testing new equipment. Then I learned not to test pilot, experienced newest aircraft carrier-based - this is when you need to put your car on the deck of the ship. Under these exercises the pulse of the pilots rolls are stronger than when I fly in a combat zone. Then, when I became a test pilot of the first class, I realized that all the above in the atmosphere can not jump. And it was logical to go and fly on a space bird. That is, for me it was a consistent way. This is typical of a man and a cosmonaut. Although astronauts are different too.
But God in the cosmos can not see it yet, we know from Gagarin. But I can tell you that space - a living. When you're there, you pass through some kind of information, you just have to listen to it. Aliens we have not seen, but when I visited there, there is a firm belief that we are not alone in the universe, there are those who are smarter and stronger than us.