A TSU graduate is participating in a flight to the moon experiment

Daria Zhidova, a graduate of the TSU Faculty of Physics and Technology, is participating in a 4-month experiment SIRIUS-19, which simulates a flight to the moon. This international project is conducted by the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the American Human Research Program NASA. During the experiment, a team of 6 crew members will conduct 80 scientific experiments and test the mockups and stands developed at RSC Energia. The project start is scheduled for March 19.

The four-month SIRIUS-19 isolation experiment simulating a flight to the Earth’s satellite includes a flight and landing on the moon’s surface, as well as the way home. During the simulated flight, the crew will be in a specially developed medical-technical ground-based experimental complex of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. There, participants will conduct medical, physiological, psychological, and technological experiments, test various equipment, and even grow their greenhouse. Also, the crew will have to endure several sessions of sleep deprivation: they will have a 36-hour working day with various tests and experiments.

These studies of the psychology and human performance under conditions of prolonged isolation are carried out to support future research on the International Space Station and to reduce risks in prospective space research missions.

- In the experiment I will be in the position of the right hand of the crew commander - the flight engineer, - says Daria Zhidova. - The flight engineer functions here are no different from its functions onboard the ISS. I have to monitor the operation of all systems, control systems during the flight, and also perform a number of technically complex operations: docking (with the orbital lunar station, transport cargo ships, and lunar takeoff and landing ship) and landing of the entire lunar takeoff and landing complex on surface of the moon.

Also, the flight engineer will conduct a series of medical experiments in physiology, immunology, and psychology and engage in scientific observations of the lunar surface to select the landing site and create future lunar bases.

Daria Zhidova graduated from TSU in 2013 and now works as a test engineer for the flight test department at the Energia rocket and space corporation. The department is engaged in the development and ergonomic support of new ships and modules, the testing of new equipment planned for delivery to the ISS, and escorting the Soyuz and Progress type ships at the start and landing.

In 2018, Daria was selected among the six specialists for the crew of SIRIUS-19. The commander will be Yevgeny Tarelkin, the pilot-cosmonaut, Hero of the Russian Federation.

It is an international experiment, with a team of representatives from Russian, American, and Belarusian space agencies. It also respects gender equality: three men and three women.

- I’ve had a goal for a long time - I want to colonize the Moon, I want to be one of the first to start doing this,- says Daria. - To achieve this goal, it is necessary to go through both formal and personal steps. The formal part will include the necessary education, and personal education is the awareness and acceptance of the fact of whether I can or this is just my fantasies. The experience of participating in the experiment, I hope, will help me pass the recently announced selection of the female cosmonaut corps.