In Russia here-here will appear the international centre for the preparation for interplanetary flights. Khoroshevskoye shosse, at the Institute of biomedical problems, Russian Academy of Sciences. In terms of the plight of our academic institutions is already fantastic. But without a strong friendship between the space medics of Russia and other countries about this it would be impossible to imagine. And I know a man who for 30 years builds strong, trusting relationships with NASA, European, Japanese, and Chinese space agencies. It is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, Deputy Director of IMBP RAS, responsible for foreign economic and innovative activity mark BELAKOVSKY. With his active participation, the Institute has successfully implemented 350 projects, “flew to Mars” in 2011, and to the moon in 2015. 30 Jan Mark Samuilovich is 70 years old. On the eve of the anniversary, we talk with him about how it all began the secret to the success of the Institute, and of course about new international projects.
Photo: press service of the Institute of biomedical problems of RAS
– Mark Samuilovich, what thoughts come to such a significant date?
– In the previous two years was a lot of dramatic, heavy for me events. Family tragedy intertwined with the national… In 2015 passed away father (a well-known sports doctor Oleg Belakovsky — N.In.), at the end of 2016, the tragedy of the Tu-154 plane were killed my nephew (Anton Gubankov, head of culture Department of the defense Ministry – N. In.). In the new year, I hope, will be easier. We are waiting for anniversaries of people dear to me: in March, would have turned 80 years old friend and colleague, Yuri Senkevich, alas, departed from us in 2003 and in April – will mark the 75th anniversary of the prominent cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, God give him health, and in may, the 45th anniversary of the cosmonaut corps IBMP. In this Institute I came to work in 1975.
– How is it that you have linked their lives with space medicine?
Actually, since my dad was a sports doctor, and my childhood was surrounded by many gymnasts, football players, hockey players, I dreamed about sport. But in the end decided the voice of my mother Nina Bonner, who always said, “Marik, you’re still the same doctor.” I’m very grateful for it, because my life was connected with space medicine, and I believe that in the world there is no profession more interesting. Although I, as the son of the chief physician of our teams in football and hockey offered at the end of the 1st Medical doctor of any our team.
– But you chose space…
– Yes, although there are paid three times less. When I got to the Institute, the head of a major division in the science there was Yuri Alexandrovich Senkevich. By the time he had himself to spend a year at the polar station “Vostok” in Antarctica and to go to three Maritime expeditions, by Thor Heyerdahl. All of this was for one to understand how the human body reacts to long-lasting insulation, the extreme conditions, which have much in common with space.
– What have you ordered?
– I started to do research of the metabolism and human nutrition in extreme conditions.
– That is all that ate astronauts on the spacecraft “Soyuz”, orbital stations “Salyut”, “Mir”, and later the ISS – have been subjected to your scrutiny?
– We checked the food even at the stage of their manufacture. Could close any manufacturing plant, not suitable, in our opinion, the sanitary and hygienic norms. So, alas, happened at Astrakhan fish factory, where we wanted to establish the supply of goods on Board. But in spite of our efforts to develop the ideal space menu, it happened that we still sometimes complaints were received from orbit. “I don’t like the goulash – told us, for example, during a communication session, the astronaut. – Who picked up?”. – “You picked up” – we said to him. Later came the understanding that in space people can change taste – they sort of dull out there. Because then we could better take in the salt and pepper dishes before sending into space.
With Sergey Ryazanskiy during the experiment “Mars-105” Photo: press-service of the Institute of biomedical problems of RAS
In parallel with studies of the nutrition of the astronauts, was a test of man and its metabolism on Earth in a hyperbaric, high-mountain and polar expeditions, we watched a survival test in the wilderness. By the way, the initiator of the methods of survival of astronauts in different geographical areas in case of emergency landing was just Yuri.
Tell me more about the experiment in the desert.
So, in the court in 1984, we are preparing an expedition to Kara-Kum near Ashgabat. According to legend, there should occur an emergency landing of the space crew. If we don’t know what’s going on with the astronauts after landing on the burning hot sand, in the case of actual history, we could lose it all. For the best scientific data we need to choose not one, but six crews testers. By the way, decided to check who will take the heat better: local or Muscovites, and therefore are additionally invited to participate Turkmen volunteers.
Early in the morning, six parachutes were thrown into the desert. Under each 55-60 degree heat sat one aboriginal and one Muscovite. They had to survive, that is, in the truest sense of the word, survive, for two and a half days, with 2 candies and 2.5 liters of water each at the rate in such conditions is 10-12 liters.
The horror! They fainted?
– Fainting was not, but five people have left the experiment, all were given the right to refuse.
– Probably, the Muscovites could not stand?
– Right, but partially: the desert left two Muscovite and three native. But the rest endured to the last. They even talk couldn’t waste the energy. Dehydration was such that one of the testers lost at the end of experiment 8 pounds (!) weight. I had to take all urine and blood samples every 12 hours. Were on duty near them, not slept in 48 hours, but the process was extremely difficult – it was not in the test organisms sufficient amount of fluid for tests!
The taking of blood from volunteers is not a simple procedure. Photo: press service of the Institute of biomedical problems of RAS
– What conclusions were made after?
We have developed additional recommendations, in particular, in any case not to get out from under the parachute by day and to sleep at night only on a parachute, turning down the edges so that to the sleeping not picked up all sorts of dangerous inhabitants of the desert, like Scorpions.
– IBMP RAS has always been involved in biomedical support of athletes-Olympians. There was in the Soviet years of problems with doping among our athletes?
– In my time no scandals were not. But the father, who was accompanied at the XII winter Olympic games our hockey team, talked about the scandal that broke out on the eve of opening: during medical examination at a preliminary tournament with the hosts of the games – the Austrians in the blood of our player Gennady Tsygankov was found doping. Later it turned out that it was on the allowed drug – nervous stimulant that improves blood circulation, which my father wrote to the sportsman in view of the fact that he suffered a concussion. As soon as the members of the Olympic medical Board found in the papers of the corresponding information letter, the conflict was settled. There was another story with the then head of the sports Committee of the USSR Sergey Pavlov, who advocated the use of anabolics to achieve the best results, but my father was strongly opposed, only repeated always in jest: “there is No better dope than black caviar”. Unfortunately at the world championship in Vienna, before which the dispute took place, our team only took third place. Now it is awarded, and then the trainers and the doctor, my father, was dismissed.
– You have not spoiled relations with the President of the Italian space Agency Enrico Saggese after his statement in 2012 that is actually a record of Valeriy Polyakov, who spent in space 437 days in 1994, was the result of the negligence of the management? Supposedly Polyakova in transition political period just forgot at the station, not including time in the lists for replacement.
– Of course it was absolute nonsense. The poles were preparing to fly purposefully, knowing that the Americans are working on such annual experiment, asked the head of the Russian space Agency. In the end, he went forward. Polyakov’s record is still not beaten: he stayed in space for 437 days 17 hours and 52 minutes. He made a tremendous program, with him at the station have changed several crews he has attended, coached, and consulted. We were constantly in touch with him. Fortunately, Mr. Sagese is no longer President of the ICA.
Responsible for the implementation of research – M. S. Belakovsky. Photo: press service of the Institute of biomedical problems of RAS
– What gave science the flight of Valery Vladimirovicha?
He spent aboard “the World” a huge amount of medical and psychological experiments. But most of all struck by the fact that immediately after the flight, he could move and even from time to time, when I was on the plane from Kazakhstan to Star, stood on their feet, communicating with colleagues. Valera joked after: “Well there you suffer, I already flew to Mars and back.” For time spent in space, it really was equivalent to the flight to the Red planet. I confidently refer people like the Poles, the elite of our society. There are different elites: political, oligarchic… But Valery Vladimirovich belongs to the most respected — the intellectual elite. Just imagine what he did being a great astronaut, twice hero of the Soviet Union and Russia – asked in 1999 as a simple test in the insulating ground-based experiment “Sphinx”, which was held in our Institute. We really needed a real astronaut, who would inside to assess the similarity of conditions in real space. The poles eventually put isolation model on the basis of the IBMP good grade.
– Which one of your testers has pursued a career as a cosmonaut?
– I am very happy now for Sergey Ryazansky, Oleg Artemyev, who started a test in our experiments, and now have become an experienced space explorers. In April of this year, Sergei flies already in its second flight the commander of crew on the ship “Union”. We encourage all young people who want to follow in the footsteps of our guys to test themselves first in the IBMP as volunteers.
– Cook something new?
After the success of the experiment simulating the flight to the Red planet “Mars-500”, which we did with the Europeans and Chinese, we asked the Americans to conduct now something similar with them.
– Don’t they have their complexes?
– Ground experimental complex (Neki) and has NASA and ESA. But we have a unique NEK, where you can live for a year or more, not anywhere. Modelled at the time by Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, he remains to this day the only one that simulates a large space ship in full size. In addition it is stuffed with new technology, it is completely controlled environment, temperature, gas composition. It is possible to simulate any type of space flight factors, except for weightlessness and radiation. And we have a unique work over decades by a team of professionals having vast experience in conducting “operations” on the Ground, and it is really worth it.
So, where are we going this time?
Here on this we are thinking about writing a legend for the future of the experiment, its emblem. On a competition has already responded to hundreds of people. Offer many names from Greek mythology… This should be something that is highly associated with heaven and man. The difficulty is that in the upcoming annual experiment, which according to our preliminary agreements will take place in 2020-2021 years, we most likely will not be any one specific purpose, as in the experiments “Mars-500” or “the Moon-2015”. Our goal will be the development of coherent interaction of people of different nationalities, mentalities and religions on the way to distant planets.
Volunteers already have?
– Despite the fact that so far we have signed only the agreement, and has declared a set of volunteers, we have stream of letters. Only the Russians came in 20 pieces. Very pleased that among them, about half were from women.
– When to start preparing for the “flight”?
– At the end of October 2017, when we will launch the NEC first crew within the first two-week technical trial of the experiment. It will be followed by four months at the end of 2018 and eight in 2019. In General, we are now busy organizing process. Again I did this in the best sense of the word, although after the “Mars 500”, during which I didn’t sleep promise: “That I – even – ever!….”. But now we have nowhere to retreat – on the basis of our Institute last year we built a new complex, which position among our foreign colleagues, as a future international centre for interplanetary space flight. If now many of our test laboratories spread across the different buildings, now will be gathered in one place: pockets for water immersion (simulated weightlessness), for short radius centrifuge that would simulate the station earth’s gravity. We combined our new complex separate an elevated walkway, even with the Knack to make future experiments on isolation as convenient as possible for testers and scientists.
The medical scientific team led by Yu. a. Senkevich. Photo: press service of the Institute of biomedical problems of RAS
– What is the impact of the insolation experiments on the health of the testers?
Of course, this is not a resort, and the long absence of sunlight, fresh outdoor air, communication with relatives leads to apathy, decreased performance. But these things are passing quickly after completion of the experiment. Over the course of our work we have not had even a single case of serious diseases.
– What situation on Earth you as an expert on extreme medicine consider most dangerous?
– Not able to highlight something, such situations very much. Man is a very vulnerable creature. For example, to be in Moscow during the smog in 2010 was very extreme, we even IBMP was modeled after Moscow was able to assess its impact on the body.
– And in his life felt unbelievably load?
– The strongest for me a test was the care of loved ones. Physical extreme situations I experienced. Maybe it’s because I am prepared, train twice a week, run and work a lot. At 7.40 I am already in the Institute and before 19.00 not leaving, I talk a lot with people and I feel this true happiness.