The first successful person’s flights into space allowed experts to build very serious plans for scientific experiments in orbit. However, with an increase in the duration of expeditions, such factors as a reaction to stay in a closed space, limited communication, cut-off from home and family, fatigue from routine operations were stronger.
Preparation for extreme situations
Together with the flight Yuri Gagarin in 1961. The era of the piloted space started. Soon in the staffing of the Center for the Training of Cosmonauts, the department of medical and biological training was formed. Its main task was to monitor the health of new idols of the country, as well as supporting their moral spirit and physical form for successful tasks. He led the department of psychologist Oleg Nikolaevich Kuznetsov, whom many specialists of this profile consider their teacher.
Employees of the department taught astronauts in a closed volume of a spacecraft or an orbital station, not to lose composure in extreme conditions. Much attention was paid to the skills of work during a free fall during a labeling parachute jump, as well as during a multi-sustained stay in the Survival chamber without any connection with the surrounding world. This department worked quite efficiently until the flights were short and astronauts were constantly loaded.
“Soyuz-9”: the first symptoms
Perhaps, for the first time, doctors faced the acute necessity of psychological support of cosmonauts during a record-duration of the flight of Andriyan Nikolaev and Vitaly Sevastyanov in 1970. Two people in a small amount (8m3) of the ship worked for almost 18 days. Maintaining physical and moral forces in such a small space required by the cosmonauts of the force of will, excerpts and skills to restrain irritation. Tensions felt in the Evpatoria Flight Management Center.
To support the crew, Valentina Tereshkova was called to the 7th day of the expedition to Evpatoria, Andriyan Nikolaev’s wife. She flew to the Crimea along with the six-year-old daughter Alena and for several sessions communicated with her husband. It was the first in the history of domestic flights of a cosmonaut radiocommunication session with family. In the future, such meetings became an integral part of the program of psychological unloading crews during long flights.
On the 9th day, Nikolaev and Sevastyanov, also for the first time in the history of cosmonautics, arranged a day off. They were offered to play chess. The rivals on the game were in the center of General Nikolay Kamanin and Cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko. The party lasted about six hours and ended in a draw.
Specialists of the Laboratory of Psychological Training Crew of the CPC, which from 1969 Headed Rostislav Bogdashevsky, coped with the task and did not allow the moral dome of the astronauts during the record for that time.