Space Dream Makes Women Lie with Their Heads Down

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) — The Institute of Medical and Biological Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has conducted a unique experiment imitating women’s long stay in space. Eight girls spent four months in a horizontal position with their heads down, the Tribuna newspaper reports.

According to the author of this idea, doctor and astronaut Boris Morukov, the afflux of blood to the top part of the body is equivalent to the overloads in zero gravity conditions on the orbital station.

The thing is that the entire training system for a lengthy space flight is designed for men. Scientists, however, wanted to know how it should be adjusted for women astronauts.

Central newspapers carried invitations to take part in the experiment for women aged 25-37.

As a result, eight girls from different parts of Russia were selected.

The girls were divided into two groups. One of them underwent compulsory training three times a day. The other was confined to bed. Scientists in turn studied changes in their metabolism, cardiovascular systems and sleep.

During the experiment, the girls’ heads were five degrees lower than their feet. The girls were kept in a horizontal position on a special suspended stand during all physical training on a treadmill, cycle ergometer, and strand pulling. The girls were driven to the training devices in wheelchairs, and had meals in a horizontal position too.

According to medics, none of the girls passed out during the centrifugal training either.

Although the experiments caused some changes in the girls’ muscles, bone tissue, and cardiovascular systems, these changes were within the physiological norm.

The results of this Russian experiment, unprecedented in the world, to simulate a lengthy space flight of women are unique.

These results along with the lengthy flight experience of Valery Polyakov and Yelena Kondakova will be used for simulating an expedition to Mars within the international program already this year.