May 22, 2014

On May 21 GCTC testing and Training complex of Baikonur spaceport opened its doors for Mass media representatives. Less than a week before the launch of Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft back-up and main crews of ISS 40/41 mission took part in traditional “mass media day” at Baikonur spaceport , thus the journalists got the unique opportunity to watch the final stage of pre-launch preparations.

According to standard prelaunch preparations daily schedule  the main crew consisting of Maksim Surayev ( Roscosmos), Reid Wiseman (NASA) and Alexander Gerst (ESA) started its working day at 11.00 a.m. (09.00 a.m., Moscow time) studying Soyuz TMA-13M onboard documentation. At the same time back-up crew comprising Anton Shkaplerov (Roscosmos), Samantha Christoforetti  (ESA) and Terry Virts (NASA) passed the training on Soyuz TMA-M functional multipurpose facility. Then the crews changed their positions. Both main and back-up crews practiced manual control of the spacecraft and manual docking with the station.

Preparation trainings for space flight factors on special simulators are essential part of the crews’ daily schedule. The journalists saw how the cosmonauts train on Coriolis acceleration chairs and pass hemodynamic trainings in accordance with the special scheme developed by GCTC. Naturally even such busy schedule stipulates spare time the cosmonauts usually devote to sport playing tennis, chess, billiards or darts.  Under the care of physicians the crews have trainings on race track, ergometric bicycle and train their bodies to adapt it to space flight factors.

Besides the cosmonauts go for a walk every day. On May 21, 2014 during the walk Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst planted trees at the Cosmonauts Alley  carrying on longstanding tradition established by Yuri Gagarin. Boths crews answered the journalists’ questions as well.

All trainings are carried out under the supervision of GCTC operational crew specialists.

Image credit: GCTC

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