How is the task different? How to evaluate a partner? Interview with “Shen XII” astronauts

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Face-to-face with the “Shen XII” astronauts (deep observation)

How is the task different? How to evaluate a partner? Interview with “Shen XII” astronauts

This is the first mission of my country’s manned space engineering space station Human flight is also the Chinese astronaut entering space again after 5 years. Before the expedition, the three “Shen XII” astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo accepted an exclusive interview with our reporter.

How is this mission different from the past?

Heavy workload, staying in space for 3 months, taking a long time out of the cabin, and heavy tasks. It takes about 6 hours to get out of the cabin at a time.

Reporter: “God 12” mission What work does the astronaut have to accomplish? What’s the difference between manned flights in the past?

Nie Haisheng: The space station mission is the third step of the “three steps” of my country’s manned space project. The Shenzhou 12 mission is the first manned flight during the construction phase of the space station and has its own characteristics.

First, the task workload is very large. For example, after we enter the core cabin, we need to establish an environment suitable for people to live and live in, and then we need to perform installation and maintenance outside the cabin. Unlike the Shenzhou 7 mission, the Shenzhou 12 mission has a long time and heavy mission. It takes about 6 hours to leave the cabin at a time. It is also the first time to cooperate with an external robotic arm. The complexity and arduousness will be beyond imagination.

Secondly, the mission has been in orbit for as long as 3 months. It has put forward higher requirements on life and health. It needs to strengthen health maintenance and life ability training to explore how to better adapt to space work, life.

The third is that compared with the space laboratory, the space station is a larger scientific platform. We have to do more space experiments, more technical experiments, and tighter time.

Liu Boming: Compared with the “God 12” mission and the “God 7” mission, the exit activities are quite different. The main purpose of the “Shen VII” exit is to verify that the extravehicular spacesuit can get out, come back, and relatively simple extravehicular operations. The “Shen XII” mission plan is to perform two out-of-cabin mission operations, each of which lasts for several hours, and requires astronauts to have a strong body and a strong and stable psychological quality.

Reporter: What are the predictable difficulties?

Liu Boming: The first difficulty is rapid rendezvous and docking. We now have the capability of rapid rendezvous and docking of spacecraft. After the rapid rendezvous and docking of the Shenzhou XII spacecraft, we entered the core module of the space station non-stop, testing the astronaut’s physical adaptability in space. While adapting, we need to remove the cover, take and put the packages back into place, establish a living and working environment, and maintain the normal operation of the life support system.

After that, in order to prepare for the first time out of the cabin, we have to prepare in advance. The interval between two consecutive exit missions is also very short. In the process of exiting the cabin, human and robotic arms will cooperate for the first time. The robotic arm just swings in a wide range to carry the astronauts near the extravehicular operating point. For meticulous operations at the extravehicular operation point, one person has limited tools and the operation is difficult. It may require the cooperation of another astronaut, and the two people will go to the operation point to complete the task. Therefore, it not only tests the reliability, safety, and flexibility of the manipulator’s operation, whether it will collide with the bulkhead, etc., but also tests the astronaut’s ability to cooperate outside the cabin.

These are the first times for us. We did a lot of preparatory work while on the ground, and coordinated drills. It is unpredictable whether it will be so smooth in the actual implementation process. We practice hard and skillfully on the ground, strictly follow the manual when in space, and give full play to the subjective initiative of the astronauts when operating on site.

What was your life in space for 3 months?

The tablet computer you bring can access the Internet, and you can also have a haircut in a weightless environment.

Reporter: People are longing for life in space. I heard that this mission can make calls at any time?

Nie Haisheng: We have the ability to make calls at any time between heaven and earth, but not necessarily at any time. When we are relatively free, we will communicate with the ground, including greetings to family members. The tablet computer we brought can access the Internet, and it is also connected to WiFi when leaving the cabin. Of course, they are all LANs inside the space station’s cabin.

Reporter: This time I stayed in space for 3 months, how do I get a haircut?

Nie Haisheng: My “professional barber” is my partner. We practiced on the ground many times, helping each other with haircuts. Of course, a haircut in a weightless environment in space is different from that on the ground, and the hair will drift away. We put a vacuum cleaner on the hair clipper, which can suck the cut hair in.

Reporter: I heard that astronauts can take some personal belongings with them, is that right?

Tang Hongbo: I brought some. My child is now in junior high school. He is very humorous and optimistic. He is my pride. I have recorded a lot of daily life videos of my spouse and son. After work, I will review these family life and relax.

What hard training did you do?

Every underwater training has to persist for 6 hours. After the sink training, it takes a lot of effort to hold chopsticks

Reporter: Such a heavy task requires extraordinary training preparation.

Nie Haisheng: Yes! In order to complete this mission, we have strengthened many different trainings on the ground, including one-on-one training, low-pressure cabin training, sink training, etc. We only have unswerving belief, perseverance, superb skills, A strong and stable psychology can successfully complete this task.

Liu Boming: The training intensity in all aspects has been increased. Low-pressure cabin training has the highest risk because it is a vacuum environment. We have conducted many special trainings in the low-pressure cabin to test our psychological endurance, as well as our ability to react and correct errors in this special environment. Can we be 100% correct every time? .

The hardest and most tiring part is the training in the sink. Everyone knows that if you want to get out of the airtight capsule and go to space, you must wear an extravehicular space suit. Therefore, you can simulate the weightless environment in space in the tank and wear an underwater training suit equivalent to an extravehicular space suit for training. The extravehicular operations of the “God Twelve” mission take a long time. We basically train for 6 hours underwater. Underwater high-intensity training often depends on faith and perseverance.

Reporter: It is said that after every sink training, it takes a lot of effort to hold chopsticks. Is there any good way to adapt?

Nie Haisheng: For tank training, we first strengthen physical training, secondly enhance upper limb strength, and thirdly, as the number of underwater training increases, both cardiopulmonary function and upper limb strength are exercised. Process, stick to it and you will adapt.

Tang Hongbo: Sink training is a must-training item for the “God Twelve” mission. I was able to overcome physical challenges in the sink training, but I felt very aggrieved in a small space like an extravehicular spacesuit. I thought about it as soon as I entered it. I was very irritable and even had trouble sleeping and eating for a while. But to perform space station missions, one must wear extravehicular space suits to work. Later, I found that lowering the temperature of the extravehicular spacesuit would make it feel better. Combine the psychological adjustment methods you have learned to calm yourself down. Now, I feel very comfortable in the extravehicular space suit, and I have no discomfort even after working for several hours.

Reporter: Out-vehicle activities will become the norm on the space station, so it is also the focus of training.

Tang Hongbo: One of our training focuses is undoubtedly getting out of the cabin. The entire exit procedure is very complicated, the professional knowledge and operating skills are very complicated, and the amount of information is huge. Everyone pays attention to the moment of exit. In fact, astronauts have to prepare for many days before exiting. They also have to prepare for several hours on the day of exit before opening the cabin door to perform the exit mission.

Liu Boming: Ground training is very intensive for out-of-cabin activities, because it is necessary to consider some special situations that may occur when out-of-cabin. The content of ground training cannot fully predict the situation when performing tasks in the sky. But we now have many means. For example, when astronauts encounter special situations during missions in orbit, the ground team will promptly provide assistance and provide strong technical support at any time. For us, what we need to improve is our body’s adaptability and energy reserves. On the day of departure, preparations will start at 6 o’clock in the morning. It takes a long time to work and return outside the cabin, which consumes a lot of physical energy.

I look forward to the moment I stand at the end of the robotic arm, facing the entire vast universe, as the robotic arm swings, there will be a feeling of flying.

Reporter: What is the effect of the confined life training that simulates space life?

Tang Hongbo: Mainly to test the astronaut’s continuous work concentration. Some training programs test the astronaut’s emergency response ability in the space environment under extreme conditions, and test and sharpen the astronaut’s will and quality. For example, in a small and confined space, if you don’t sleep for 72 hours, you must continue to work and maintain accuracy. We have done airtight training for one month on the ground, and fully simulated the overall flight procedures after entering the space station, including work, life, and waste disposal.

How does the astronaut crew work together?

The three astronauts have division of labor and cooperation, and they are confident and full of expectations for the mission

Reporter: How do the three astronauts divide the labor?

Nie Haisheng: There is a saying called “Division of labor without separation of families”. In the “God Twelve” mission, any single operation can be completed by each of us. Any task that requires two people to complete, we can combine them in two ways, and all of them can be completed in 3 modes. Three people work closely together to complete a task, which is more of a whole. This is a characteristic of manned space missions. We have been training together for more than a year, and we will share our experiences and feelings with each other. For example, Liu Boming and I had experience in space. We know that there is a difference between operations on the ground and in the sky. The operations should be more rigorous. There are also some precautions for the habits and routines of life in the sky.

Reporter: As partners, let’s evaluate each other.

Nie Haisheng: Both Liu Boming and I are the first astronauts and have worked together for more than 20 years. Everyone is familiar with Liu Boming. He is very smart, dedicated, and likes to use his brains. He has studied some subtle operations very thoroughly, and put forward many reasonable suggestions for team training and tasks. I am willing to complete the task together with him.

Tang Hongbo is the second batch of astronauts. He was once a backup astronaut for the Shenzhou 11 mission. After rigorous and systematic training, he was able to perform flying missions five years ago. The “Shen XII” mission is the first manned mission of the space station, and a large number of key technology verifications of the space station will be required. He entered this crew, indicating that the experts recognized him very much. Tang Hongbo usually has strict requirements on himself, is very modest and studious, and has a good personality. I have full confidence in him and trust him very much.

Liu Boming: Nie Haisheng has performed two flying missions and has been flying for many days. The “Shen 10” mission has undergone rendezvous and docking, and he has rich experience. He is the most suitable candidate for the commander of this mission.

I have performed the “Shenzhen VII” exit mission, and I am very confident in the exit mission. I have been preparing for the space station mission over the years. We have a division of labor, but also work closely together.

Tang Hongbo trains very hard and works hard and reliable. His seriousness and willingness to endure hardship are worth learning. He is relatively young and can complement us in operations such as electronic information and the Internet. We trust him very much.

Tang Hongbo: This is my first flight. I am honored to be able to fly with Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming. They all have flying experience. Nie Haisheng has performed the “Shen 6” and “Shen 10” flight missions. Liu Boming has performed the mission of “Shen VII” out of the cabin. In the process of preparing for the “God Twelve” mission, they are very rigorous, meticulous, and serious. I want to learn from their calmness, determination, determination, and composure. In particular, they have been flying to the sky many times, backing up many times, and have been training and preparing for the “God Twelve” flight. This is one heart only for flying, and life only for flying, this kind of spirit is worth learning. I am full of confidence and expectation for this mission.

Reporter: What is the most important factor for the astronauts who fly to the sky for the first time to be selected into the “God 12” crew?

Tang Hongbo: The most important thing is the rigorous attitude of the work. Although we have been training as a day for ten years, many things can be done right with closed eyes, but you can’t really close your eyes to do it. To be sure, you must be meticulous and brave.

How do you feel about flying missions?

After three “8 years”, from one person a day to multiple people multiple days, and then to space out of the capsule, witnessing the continuous progress of science and technology

Reporter: Commander Nie, you From becoming an astronaut to performing 3 flying missions, it is almost 8 years apart. What is the difference between these 3 “8 years”?

Nie Haisheng: I joined the Chinese Astronaut Group in 1998 and will perform the Shenzhou VI mission in 2005. This is the first step of the “three-step” of my country’s manned space project; 8 years later, 2013 In 1998, I performed the Shenzhou X mission, which was the second stage of the space laboratory; eight years later, I performed the Shenzhou XII mission, which was the third stage of space station construction.

Every 8 years is different. As my country’s manned spaceflight technology advances step by step, we have more and more missions, longer and longer times, and higher requirements for the overall quality of astronauts.

As an astronaut, my growth resonates with the development of the national aerospace industry. We have caught up with a good era. The country has economic strength and scientific and technological capabilities to develop manned spaceflight and send us to space. Living in such an era, I am very happy to be able to contribute to the cause of manned spaceflight of the motherland.

As a member of the Communist Party, I am proud to be able to perform the Shenzhou 12 mission on the centenary of the party’s birthday. Our state is to be ready at all times, and our mission is to complete the task satisfactorily. When flying over the motherland, I will wish our great party “Happy Birthday” in my heart.

Reporter: After three “8 years”, how do you feel about the advancement of space technology?

Nie Haisheng: I feel very deeply. “Shen 5” means one person a day, “Shen 6” means multiple people and multiple days, “Shen VII” means space out of the capsule, “Shen 9”, “Shen ten” and “Shen eleven”. Space life ranges from 12 days to 15 days. 30-day span. The reason why “God Eleven” can live in space for a month is because of the powerful technological support behind it. Over the years, our food, clothing, housing, working environment, communication conditions, and safety guarantees have been greatly developed in space.

For example, the space where we live in space is getting more and more spacious. During the Shenzhou V mission, the astronauts did not enter the orbital module to move. By the time of the “Shenzhou Ten”, there would be “two rooms”. Of the three astronauts, two could sleep in the “bedroom” and one would play the “floor”. Sleeping on the floor; the space station has become a “three rooms and two halls”, which is a change in the size of the space.

When Fei Junlong and I performed the “Shenzhou VI” mission, the temperature of the orbital cabin was relatively low, and the heating for meals was relatively low. The food cycle used to be 3 days, and now we have achieved a 7-day food cycle, which allows us to eat a richer variety of flavors.

Before, we all carried water and oxygen up from the ground. At the stage of the space station, we have to live in space for 3-6 months. Through the regenerative environmental control and life protection technology, we will realize the reuse, and the condensed water and sweat will be reused. Collect and purify into reclaimed water, and after treatment, it becomes pure water.

Reporter: How do the astronauts who have performed flying missions go to space again?

Liu Boming: In our simulator training hall, this sentence is very eye-catching: exploring the vast universe, developing aerospace industry, and building a space power is our unremitting pursuit of aerospace dream. This has always inspired me to keep exploring and moving forward.

Each task must be reset to zero, and each task must be restarted. We must maintain the enthusiasm and passion for the first time, as well as the practical style of the first fine operation. 13 years of hard training, 13 years of waiting patiently, 13 years of eager anticipation, flying again, can be said to be fascinating and surging. For individual astronauts, it is not difficult to maintain a strong body, because we have a set of scientific training methods. It is difficult to maintain that enthusiasm and passion for more than ten years.

A star is the most beautiful only when it flashes in space, otherwise it is a pale rock. For us astronauts, we must thank the party and the motherland. With the strong backing of the country and catching up with this great era, we can contribute our strength to the aerospace cause of the motherland. It is not easy to select an outstanding astronaut. The party and the people have trained us for so many years, and we can only successfully complete the mission to serve the motherland. I am fully prepared for flying again. With the tacit cooperation of commander Nie Haisheng and junior brother Tang Hongbo, I am determined and confident to complete the task.

Reporter: Astronauts often have to wait for many years for their first flight. Can you talk about your feelings?

Tang Hongbo: I entered the astronaut team on May 5, 2010 and became the second batch of astronauts in China. I have also been thinking, after so many years of training, when will I be able to use the skills I have learned to perform missions in space? The long wait is actually more challenging than high-intensity training. But with the traction of flying dreams, I have been in good condition for ten years. I believe that the next decade will be a decade of contributing to the construction of the space station.

I really like the feeling of flying. This time my “mount” is a rocket, which will fly to a space station several hundred kilometers high. I look forward to quickly overcoming the discomfort caused by weightlessness and establishing a living environment in the core cabin of the space station as soon as possible. I look forward to the moment when we successfully complete the mission and return to Earth.

Nie Haisheng: We have been looking forward to the arrival of the space station era and have struggled for many years. After the space station is built, it will be the home of our Chinese astronauts in space, and there will be batches of astronauts. In the future, it is also possible to welcome international astronauts to join our big family, do more scientific research on this space platform, and use these results to benefit all mankind.