Spaceflight Insider

First female ISS Cosmonaut adjusts to life in space

Yelena Serova poses for a picture with NASA astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore. Photo Credit: NASA/Roscosmos

Yelena Serova who, in September, became the first female Russian cosmonaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS), is adjusting very fast to life in space and she’s now settling in as a permanent ISS inhabitant. On the ISS Mailbox blog, she writes about the everyday life of her crew, their work on the Kardiovektor experiment on the space cardiology, and also about practicing skills necessary in the emergency situations that can arise in the International Space Station.

“I’m getting used to living in microgravity conditions. I exercise regularly, and conduct scientific experiments as well,” Serova writes on her blog on Roscosmos website. “Last week I’ve spent much time on doing exercises regarding reacting in emergency situations like fire or depressurization, for example.”

In her first blog post, Serova exclaimed, “ISS-41/42 crew on the line! I take the relay from my colleague Oleg Artemiev!”

One of the experiments Serova is working on is the Kardiovektor experiment, which aims to provide new scientific information on the role of right and left ventricle of the heart in the adaptation of the circulatory system to the conditions of long-duration space flight.

“I will conduct this experiment on a monthly basis during my stay at the station,” Serova revealed.

Serova is all smiles as she works diligently to complete her science experiments on the ISS. Photo Credit: NASA/Roscosmos

Serova is all smiles as she works diligently to complete her science experiments on the ISS. Photo Credit: NASA/Roscosmos

On Tuesday, Serova performed an equipment check for the Otklik experiment, which is developing a system to track the impacts of particles on the station’s exterior using piezoelectric sensors. Throughout the day she also manually mixed test samples in the Kaskad cell-cultivation experiment’s bioreactor. On Friday she performed routine daily maintenance on the life-support system in the Zvezda service module.

Serova also conducts observations for the Relaxation experiment. That study observes chemical reactions due to jet exhaust and body reentries in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. She is also involved in the Calcium experiment, which examines the causes of the loss of bone density that occurs in a weightless environment. For this study, Russian researchers are looking at the solubility of calcium phosphates and bone samples in water in space.

Serova is the fourth female cosmonaut from Russia to ever fly in space, the first being USSR’s Valentina Tereshkova who made history in 1963 as the first woman ever to go into space on a sole flight. Tereshkova was followed by Svetlana Savitskaya who circled the Earth orbit twice, in 1982 and 1984. Yelena Kondakova was the third to be put into orbit in 1994 and 1997. A total of 57 women have flown to space so far.


This article originally appeared on Astro Watch and can be viewed here: Yelena

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Tomasz Nowakowski is the owner of Astro Watch, one of the premier astronomy and science-related blogs on the internet. Nowakowski reached out to SpaceFlight Insider in an effort to have the two space-related websites collaborate. Nowakowski's generous offer was gratefully received with the two organizations now working to better relay important developments as they pertain to space exploration.

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