On August 14, participants of the International Youth Forum ‘Eurasia Global’ had an opportunity to meet the astronaut, Hero of Russia Sergey Ryazansky.
In an informal setting, our honorable guest told the young listeners about his experiencein space flights lasting more than 300 days, how to establish international cooperation in space and find common language with the crew, how to avoid conflicts and solve communication problems in confined spaces.
Going through the pages of his biography, he admitted that he had never dreamed of becoming an astronaut. “As far as I remember, I always wanted to become a biologist. I believe that nature sciences are the best among all areas of knowledge. However, very often, especially when you are not even expecting, there are times in our life when there is a unique chance to change our destiny. This happened to me when it was decided to enlist scientists in the ranks of astronauts. This was completely out of my comfort zone. But there was nowhere to hide. My health was excellent. And so it happened”, – shared the astronaut.
The audience got to find out how much time it takes from the beginning of training program until the actual flight, what astronauts eat and how life is arranged in zero gravity.
“At first, there are two years of general space training. And you should understand, that it means 150 exams and tests, more than 70 engineering disciplines, as well as psychology, medicine, foreign languages and even much more. On average, it takes 6 years from the start of training to the first flight. My friend generally waited a full 18 years! At the exit should go universal soldier. We are all interchangeable regardless of the initial specialization”, – said Sergey. He shares, that in his flights he had to even treat his colleagues, for example, provide some dental treatment. In one of the flights, the British astronaut was being prepared for the operation.
The hero of Russia also highlighted such an important aspect as the psychological mood and the situation during the flight: “It is important to come up with some fun things in order to cheer up the crew. For example, in one of the flights I flew in a suit of a large shaggy monkey. And don’t even ask how I managed to take it. We even ordered pizza, and moreover cooked it ourselves. Six months being in an open space, it’s starting to be unbearable, so the main thing is to maintain a positive attitude by any means so that the team is relaxed and properly tuned”.
Answering the questions of the participants, Sergey also spoke about the importance of teamwork and interpersonal communication: “We don’t do anything alone, always as a team. And it’s good when you can choose your own people, as we choose friends or beloved ones. Most of times we do not know with whom we are to fly. And in this regard, it is right to build up communication and interaction. Remember, you cannot change an adult. You can help him and increase his competencies, but never change the character. Take a person with all its pros and cons. Do not build illusions. The key to the perfect team is in vertical and horizontal communications. People need to talk”.
The performance of the astronaut was full not only with vivid verbal memories, but was also accompanied by archival photographs depicting flights with his foreign colleagues. As it turned out, photography is a real hobby for Sergey. From his very first flight, he brought about 65 thousand photographs, which were later published in his book.
The Eurasia Global International Youth Forum is held for the fourth time and is one of six forum sites for which, on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation, federal status has been assigned.
The organizers of the forum are the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, the Government of the Orenburg Region, the Federal State Budgetary Institution Resource Youth Center.