Chinese Space Station: How Taikonauts Live Their SOHO Lives in Space


The three Chinese taikonauts have unlocked more tasks in space because they have already spent half the time of their three-month space mission. Engineers designed a sophisticated and comfortable office space and also a home for them.

The Shenzhou-12 mission will complete 14 experimentation programs while the Chinese space station will perform 49 medical experimentation programs in total.

Applied in the space station for the first time, the human system research unit is the main equipment for medical experimentation in space. On July 14, the taikonauts had conducted a series of tests with the unit.

“The unit covers experiments related to human bodies, such as bones, veins, muscles, brain and cells. Tests show that the equipment works well and is ready for use,” Li said. Yinghui, deputy chief designer of China’s human space program astronaut system. .

The unit can conduct experiments to analyze basic cognitive abilities, exercise, strength, weight loss and vision as well as perform medical tests on angiocarpy and urine, serum and saliva. It can also store medical samples, archives and medical gadgets. A medical refrigerator can keep different samples such as blood, urine and saliva in the refrigerator.

There are also hidden compartments designed in the space station for storage. When the taikonauts first entered the station, all packages and cargo were strapped to the inner wall of the central module, easy to quickly check.

However, the packages become annoying obstacles if they are stored in the limited space when the taikonauts are moving. The designers came up with the idea of ​​setting up dividers as a hidden compartment to store packages that are not currently in use, freeing up space for the taikonauts.

Taikonauts also need regular physical testing and exercise to counter the inconvenience of being in the weightless environment of space.

Fundus fluoroscopy, a type of eye control, is one of the key physical controls in space, as many systemic diseases often damage the fundus, such as high blood pressure. , kidney disease, diabetes, certain blood diseases, etc. Taikonauts might show signs of illness, especially after living in a mild environment for a month, and therefore an eye exam is essential.

Taikonauts must also pass bone density tests to monitor their bone loss, a natural effect of humans who have lived in space for a long time. A specially designed treadmill and space bike are installed at the station for taikonauts to use in physical exercises to counter bone loss.

Wang Chunhui, department head at the Astronaut Center of China, said the researchers carefully studied the behaviors of the taikonauts and identified actions that could pose safety concerns before designing the station. The design is based on the needs of the crew and for their convenience.

“The experience of the taikonauts in the space station will also provide valuable data for developers to design next-generation products,” Wang said.

According to Wang, there is a team to test and try out all designs, including the station, spacesuits and robotic arm in a mock environment before the equipment is put into service. “The people who build the station have no experience in space. There can easily be discrepancies if the designers only depend on the data without real people testing the design.” And that’s how designs go through a continuous process of improvement.

Read more: Chinese space station: antennas hidden behind “perfect transmission”

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