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Space Science

Time-in-Space Record Broken 325

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-you-thought-you-had-a-rough-couple-of-years dept.
NoFrance writes "Russian cosmonaut, Sergei Krikalev has taken the record for most time spent in space away from fellow Russian Sergei Avdeyev. At 748 days in space, Krikalev has an impressive list of accomplishments to his name, including : back-to-back 6 month tours on mir, he flew on the first joint US-Russian space shuttle mission, and a member of the first crew to live on ISS. He is currently commander of the ISS in a six-month stint that began on 14 April. Most impressive is his ability to deal with the physical hardships in space. In space most people lose around 1.5% of their bone mass per month, even with a disciplined exercise regime. And growing the bone mass lost from a 6 month stint back, can take a long time."
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Time-in-Space Record Broken

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  • 748 days? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slavemowgli (585321) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:18AM (#13331012) Homepage
    748 days? Wow. Think about that - it's more than two years. Quite an accomplishment indeed.

    Out of curiosity, what's the record amount of time spent in space by a US-American astronaut?
    • by AccUser (191555) <mhg@@@taose...co...uk> on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:22AM (#13331059) Homepage
      what's the record amount of time spent in space by a US-American?

      What? Including abductees?
    • Re:748 days? (Score:2, Informative)

      by cblanc (907387)
      Yeah, I wonder how they prepare themselves psychologically for such a journey. As for the record amount of time spent in space by an American astronaut is Shannon Lucid with 188 days
      • Shannon Lucid spent 188 consecutive days in space (as compared to 366 consecutive days for cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov). I, too, am curious for our current record holders for most number of total days in space.
      • Re:748 days? (Score:3, Informative)

        by slavemowgli (585321)
        Thanks, but this is the record for the most time spent in space cumulatively - if I understand correctly, Lucid's record 188 days were a single stay. :)

        Oh, and out of curiosity (sorry for going off-topic here), how'd you manage to post a score 0 comment without either being AC or getting modded down? o.o
    • by oringo (848629) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:27AM (#13331109)
      From TFA: Most impressive is his ability to deal with the physical hardships in space.

      Nah...All you need is a playboy subscription.
      • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:32AM (#13331159)
        > From TFA: Most impressive is his ability to deal with the physical hardships in space.
        >
        > Nah...All you need is a playboy subscription.

        ...because (at least in male test subjects) physical hardship is inversely proportional to bone mass.

      • by Schemat1c (464768) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @12:45PM (#13331780) Homepage
        From TFA: Most impressive is his ability to deal with the physical hardships in space.

        Nah...All you need is a playboy subscription.


        Great, now I have this image of little white globules floating all around the inside of the space station. I hope they have safety goggles up there.
    • Re:748 days? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rei (128717) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:27AM (#13331111) Homepage
      Think about that - it's more than two years

      And he's gained 2 milliseconds compared to people on the ground! :) Assuming I'm doing the math right here...
    • Re:748 days? (Score:3, Informative)

      by daniil (775990)
      According to Space Today [spacetoday.org], the U.S. space endurance record holder is former ISS commander Michael Foale, with a total of 375 days spent in space (note that it's the record for cumulative time spent in space. The longest time spent in space on a single mission is 438 days).
      • Ok, presumably one mission means you go to space and stay there until the end. If the longest time (up until this point) was 438 days...how can the longest cumulative time spent in space be 375 days? Cumaltive implies that this guy went up into space a bunch of times. The cumulative would still have to be at LEAST 438 days.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:55AM (#13331374)
      This is the perfect slashdot story. Tomorrow they'll be able to dupe it and it'll still be true. And the day after another dupe. And the day after. And so on. All they will have to do is increment the counter... 748... 749... 750... 751...

      I'll bet the editors are creaming their pants.

    • Re:748 days? (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by tomhudson (43916)

      record for most time spent in space away from fellow Russian Sergei Avdeyev. At 748 days in space

      kind of brings tears to your eyes. My eyes would be tearing too, if I had to spend that much time in close proximity to someone whop hasn't had a bath or shower in how fucking long?

      There are some records that are NOT meant to be advertised far and wide.

      After 2 years with no bath, his hair must look like Yoda's (or Ted Koppel's). Eww. Or maybe all the cosmic rays caused it to fall ou[tt].

    • I couldn't do it just because of the lack of sex! Good god. And with camera's, bio equipment and all - masturbating has got to be kind of awkward : People at mission control "Hmm, Comrade, what are you doing? Oh...."

      When he comes back he is going to be SO weak (physically) as he tries to rebuild his muscloskeletal system. Imagine being in a coma for two years and the work you have to do- this is almost as bad (though worse in some ways).

      Kudo's for him for being able to stay up there away from famil
    • Re:748 days? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @03:08PM (#13333034) Homepage
      748 days? Wow. Think about that - it's more than two years. Quite an accomplishment indeed.
      [yawn] I know a dozen or more submariners in the US alone that have spent three or more years submerged and isolated. Heck, I accumulated a hair over a year (372 days) in a span of four years.

      From TFA

      There are also individual differences in the ability to handle the psychological hardships of long-term spaceflight, says Musson. Many space-farers go through a syndrome similar to depression after the novelty and excitement of the first few weeks in space wears off. It is marked by fatigue, lack of motivation, irritability, and problems sleeping.
      As I've been saying for years - recruit submariners, not pilots. They're already partially screened for resistance to this syndrome. They are already used to living in confined spaces, isolation, etc.. etc..
      • by Aeiri (713218) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @04:07PM (#13333705)
        As I've been saying for years - recruit submariners, not pilots. They're already partially screened for resistance to this syndrome. They are already used to living in confined spaces, isolation, etc.. etc..

        Or they can hire nerds, who already know a bunch about space anyway, and also fit that criteria.

        You may think I'm joking, but I haven't actually left this room all summer, except once or twice. I've been able to handle 3 months without any problems, I'm sure I can handle a year or two even.

        This is, of course, given I have an internet connection.
    • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @05:57PM (#13334651) Journal
      Yeah and think about it, that's 2 years without sex...that must be a record too....Oh no wait this is /.
  • by hamfactorial (857057) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:18AM (#13331015)
    In Soviet space, bone loses you!
  • How many (Score:4, Funny)

    by anandpur (303114) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:18AM (#13331022)
    Frequent Flyer miles he accumulated?
    • Re:How many (Score:5, Funny)

      by grozzie2 (698656) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:31AM (#13331151)
      It's irrelavent. His miles are in the wrong mileage program, a combination of nasa and the russian space agency. The russian agency has no space available for cashing in miles over the next few years, all flights are booked full. Nasa has grounded it's fleet yet again.

      When choosing your mileage program, it's very important to check that it's one where you can actually cash the miles in for travel, there's a bunch of them that have so many rules/restrictions that it's not worth the hassle. This fella obviously made the wrong choice for collecting miles. Then again, it's not like he had a variety of carriers to chose from when booking flights to MIR and ISS...

  • by daniil (775990) <evilbj8rn@hotmail.com> on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:19AM (#13331024) Journal
    What he doesn't know is, in the meantime, I ate his children.

    (And Sergei, man, I'm so sorry you had to hear about it like this...)

  • *whew* (Score:5, Funny)

    by Phoenixhunter (588958) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:19AM (#13331026)
    I thought there was a problem with the space-time continuum.
  • 10m+ (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rd4tech (711615) * on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:20AM (#13331037)
    Many space-farers go through a syndrome similar to depression after the novelty and excitement of the first few weeks in space wears off. It is marked by fatigue, lack of motivation, irritability, and problems sleeping.

    They better make those soon-to-be-here flight to moon & mars entertaining, otherwise, they might get sued by guys who are able to pay 10+ milion for a vacation :)
    • The call that culture shock--that is, the syndrome spacemen experience.
  • by defile (1059) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:20AM (#13331040) Homepage Journal

    Actually, do astronauts get plain vanilla worker's comp like the rest of us here in the states, or does NASA have some custom designed insurance policy?

  • Will artificial gravity negate the effects of zero-grav on bone density?
    • If it's comparable in level to Earth's "regular" gravity, then I'd say, yes, it would. IANARS (I Am Not A Rocket Scientist), of course, but I can't see a reason why it wouldn't. Gravity is gravity, so assuming that it's only the lack of gravity that contributes to bone density loss (as opposed to the lack of other effects present on Earth but not in space), it should be possible to compensate for this using artificial gravity.
    • It would be an easy experiment. Put somebody in a small room for 6 months and make them execute similar tasks as an astronaut.

      Or... take a sampling of Slashdot readers.

    • by Cyclotron_Boy (708254) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:37AM (#13331214) Homepage
      Centripetal-force-generated artificial gravity systems, like those envitioned by Arthur C. Clarke shown in the film 2001 [imdb.com], have been studied by NASA and the Air Force for decades [spacefuture.com]. Basically, it would require a structure of a few hundred meters radius rotating at a few rpm. The scale of such a habitat would be enormous, and the cost associated has not been shown to be warranted as of yet. However, the commercialization of space will probably bring about such an innovation out of necessity (for comfort).
      Links here [ibiblio.org], here [regentsprep.org], and here [hypertextbook.com].
      • What's the problem? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jhan (542783)
        ... Basically, it would require a structure of a few hundred meters radius rotating at a few rpm. The scale of such a habitat would be enormous ....

        I keep hearing this over and over. So, make the spacecraft be able to split into two equal parts. Include a few hundred meters of cable to connect the parts. Rotate.

        What's the problem?

        • by Rei (128717)
          Our experiments with space tethers thusfar have had less than spectacular results, and we're talking about putting a heck of a lot more force on them. About half of the experiments thusfar have ended with a broken tether. One problem was on a charged tether: gas bubbles in the insulation turned to plasma and cut the tether. On another, the shock of the tether deployment stopping led to the failure of the cable. One problem not yet experienced but known to be a risk factor is orbital debris, so a hoyteth
      • I am not an engineer, but:

              Continually moving parts + need to stay within strict limits + time + lack of easy repair possibilities = does not bode well in my opinion.

              I'm sure it could be done. In theory. Recycling your astronauts and giving them an excellent pension program and a really sexy nurse and/or wheelchair when they retire is probably a lot cheaper.
      • Centripetal-force-generated artificial gravity systems, like those envitioned by Arthur C. Clarke shown in the film 2001, have been studied by NASA

        One thing I've always wondered about these; if the entire crew went to the same spot (throwing it off balance), would the station de-orbit with the off-axis wobble?

        I think we'll figure out how to make artificial gravity before we get the centripetal force gremlims sorted out.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Exercise generally does squat to retain or build bone mass. NASA research has been indicating that it's the vibrations which occur while you're exercising that actually stimulate the bone growth.

      http://www.nasa.gov/lb/vision/earth/everydaylife/w eak_knees.html [nasa.gov]

      http://my.webmd.com/content/article/34/1728_85890 [webmd.com]

      http://www.galileo2000.nl/home/Eng-galileo.htm [galileo2000.nl]

      Astronauts will still have to do exercise to keep from losing excessive muscles but in the future we'll just vibrate them a bit while they're in orbit to ke
  • by FlameTroll (901932) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:24AM (#13331072)
    Then you would understand just how short a time 748 days in space truly is.
  • Considering that the amenities on Mir and ISS make a World War II era submarine look like a 5-star hotel.
  • I've been in cyberspace for decades from my parents basement.
  • by glen604 (750214) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:25AM (#13331090)
    "Sergei Krikalev has taken the record for most time spent in space away from fellow Russian Sergei Avdeyev"
    Man- that Sergei Avdeyev must be pretty annoying if Sergei K has to go to space to stay away from him.
  • I was a hit at parties!
  • "And growing the bone mass lost from a 6 month stint back, can take a long time."

    He would be the perfect person to study the health effects of long term space travel. That way humans would not only know what to expect on a trip to say Mars, but humans perhaps could come up with ways to counteract any sort of negative effects that space travel has on the human body.
  • Retire to Mars? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:30AM (#13331139) Homepage Journal
    In previous discussions about a mission to Mars, the suggestion often comes up about a one-way trip -- one or more explorers who make the trip with no intention of coming back. Pioneers, really, rather than explorers.

    This poor guy, who keeps getting tapped for "hey, ya think you can spend another year or so in zero-g, tovarisch?" is probably having it worse and worse when he comes back to Terra. How much of his "stamina" is due to some freak of biology, and how much comes straight from a Soviet-era "We invented it first, and better!" mindset?

    If he's starting to feel those months in space when he's back on Earth, maybe Krikalev might want to take it easy in his retirement. Like, about 62% easier [caltech.edu]? Although medical facilities on Mars might be a bit lacking, even by Soviet standards [emedicine.com].
  • You've just broken the record for time in space, Sergei Avdeyev, what will you do now?

    "I'm going to orbit Disneyland!"

  • Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fred Foobar (756957) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:31AM (#13331143)
    That's not a bad uptime!
  • is that it gives you that funky village people hairdo [newscientist.com] 24/7. No wonder he keeps going back in space...
  • by IainMH (176964) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:34AM (#13331176)
    RIMMER: How are we fuel-wise?
    KRYTEN: Unchanged for today, sir. However, the supply situation grows
        increasingly bleak. We've recycled the water so often, it's beginning
        to taste like Dutch lager.
    • by oneiros27 (46144) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:53AM (#13331352) Homepage
      If you're going to go for Red Dwarf quotes, I would have gone for:
      Lister:
      You know what the problem is. Every day it's the same old slot in deep space. No variety. Take Christmas. What did we do Christmas day?
      Kryten:
      Oh, ah, you remember, sir. Christmas day, we were attacked by that pan-dimensional liquid beast from the Mogagon Cluster.
      Lister:
      Maybe that wasn't such a great example. I'm trying to say our lives are dull, repetitive. We never take time out to smell the roses. We never celebrate anything.
      Cat:
      We got nothing to celebrate with, bud.
      Kryten:
      Oh, not true, sir. There's a whole case of that wine I brewed out of urine recyc, just lying there, practically untouched.
      Lister:
      Call me pretentious if you like, but for me, a truly great wine should not leave you with a moustache that you can only remove with turps.
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:35AM (#13331185) Journal
    It's a simple question, I know, but if the exercise program isn't doing it, what else makes the bone mass come back?
    • by Dunbal (464142) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @12:03PM (#13331435)
      what else makes the bone mass come back?

      I can answer that. Although this comes as a surprise to many people, bone is actually living tissue. It undergoes two continuous processes. On the one hand bone is continually reabsorbed by the body, and the minerals (mostly calcium and phosphate) end up in the blood stream. And on the other hand, new bone is always created as well. Those self same minerals are taken out of the bloodstream and deposited to make new bone.

            Now the problem occurs because of the following. One of the main factors that determines where and how new bone is deposited is the constant traction against the bone by tendons. These tendons are attached on one end to the bones, and on the other to muscles. So muscle activity, which puts tension on the tendons, actually favors bone formation along the stress lines in the bone.

            The only problem is that there is just so much muscle activity that you can get from an excercise program. This pales in comparison to the CONSTANT activity that your support, or anti-gravity muscles are doing all the time, 24hrs a day, in an involountary fashion. Now in space, the effects of gravity are gone. So the anti-gravity muscles stop working. So you end up losing the most part of the stimulus that promotes new bone formation. Hence, you get bone loss. The rate of reabsorbtion is now greater than the rate of formation.

            How does it come back? Only through time, excercise, GRAVITY, calcium supplements, vitamin D, and in extreme cases, PTH (parathyroid hormone). Although the physiological function of this hormone is to promote bone reabsorbtion (ie loss), no one is sure why it actually does the opposite when used as a drug. Remineralizing a bone is a slow process however. This astronaut will NEVER get back to where he was when he left Earth.
  • by TildeMan (472701) <gsivek@mi t . edu> on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:38AM (#13331218) Homepage
    He's been in space more than two full years (24 months). So at an average loss of 1.5% per month, he now would be expected to have less than (1-0.015)^24 = 69.577614% of his original bone mass. That's not insignificant. So how much has he actually lost, and how has he been beating this?
    • He wasnt up there 2 years straight. Back on earth the bone mass can regen because of the strain put on the bones. But yea supposedly he does better than most at retaining his bone mass.

      -everphilski-
    • So how much has he actually lost...

      Interesting question...not being a bio-anything, I'd suspect that it has to approach some sort of limit where bone loss stops. While the bones don't have to support the cosmonaut's weight, he still has inertia to overcome (he still has mass) to move around while he does work around the station. Holding the body's basic form is a stress on the bones, as is daily activities such as moving equipment from here to there, doing maintenance, experiments, etc. Some sort of bone
  • by jjshoe (410772)
    There is hope for people who claim to be big boned!
  • > people lose around 1.5% of their bone mass per month

    Reminds me of my favorite far side: The boneless chicken ranch [lechatnoirboutique.com]

  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:55AM (#13331373)
    Even more impressive, Sergei can write English better than the average Slashdot editor. He doesnt have too many or too few commas, his clauses match their antecedents, and adverbs are not nine words away from their verb. That is something the up of which he will not put.
  • Ya know... (Score:3, Funny)

    by activesynapsis (706402) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @12:09PM (#13331482)
    The Russian Space agency would probably have more accomplishments if they didn't seem to require every cosmonaut to be named Sergei.
  • I wonder what kind of crazy space-diseases he's picked up, but has also developed antibodies for. When he comes back to Earth, he'll destroy us all! We'll be turning to piles of salt or rapidly aging...
  • Here is a picture [marexmg.org] of Sergei Krikalev [nasa.gov] talking to an earth-based school group using his amateur radio equipment onboard ISS. Sergey is an active amateur radio operator while aboard ISS, since Expedition One, The first ISS crew launched October 31, 2000.

    According to Nasa [nasa.gov]:
    "Dozens of astronauts have used the Space Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, or SAREX [nasa.gov], to talk to thousands of kids in school and to their families on Earth while they were in orbit. They have pioneered space radio experimentation, including t [spaceonline.tv]

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @12:25PM (#13331620)
    The reason why Krikalev has all this mission time is that he's shockingly competent and comfortable in the very stressful environment of space. They've tried out many people, but from what I read, conditions that would cripple an ordinary tough guy don't get to Krikalev. I mean, come on, his other job is stunt pilot. This guy is a badass and I hope he fathers a superior race of superspacebeings.
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @12:30PM (#13331648)
    Would a person in a high-gravity situation (relative to earth's gravity) gain far more bone mass? Perhaps in the future days of commercial space travel we will see professional athletes going on sabbaticals to space stations around Jupiter to take advantage of the increased gravity. When they come back to earth with higher bone mass they could then proceed to gain more muscle mass when working out, in order to gain an edge over their competition.

  • Bone Loss... (Score:3, Informative)

    by IanDanforth (753892) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @01:23PM (#13332067)
    I do bone density measurments for a living so here are some comparisons.

    If he has been loosing 1.5% of his bone mass a month (this is measured from a baseline prior to flight) he's down around 36%. This would put him 6-7 standard deviations below what's normal for his age. While this is very very serious consider these two things.

    1. The younger you are the better your bones are at avoiding fracture regardless of bone mass. Low bone mass doesn't help of course, but he's still probably better off than a 75 year old woman.

    2. People with various diseases like celiac sprue are seen to have densities this low and recover very well when the cause is eliminated. Thus when he returns to normal g he should see rapid bone remineralization. However

    This process will take two or more years. So if you wanted to know what "a long time" means. There it is. After two years at 1 g, I suspect his bone mass will be 95% of what it was at baseline.

    In the meantime he has a hugely increased risk of fracture and will/should probably have to wear all sorts of special padding just in case he falls over.

    As Re-entry can easily hit 5g, I think that would be the scariest part of the whole ordeal.

    I would be interested to know if he will be put on an anti-resorptive thearapy such as Fosamax or even Forteo, though they would probably only do that if he wasn't regrowing bone on his own.

    -Ian, CDT.

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