Interview with Oleg Novitsky After His Spaceflight

Oleg Novitsky (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Two months ago, Oleg Novitsky returned from his third space flight to the ISS. The commander of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft shared with the readers of the State Corporation Roscosmos magazine – Russian Space – his impressions of the expedition. It cannot be called boring in any way: three spacewalks, the meeting and integration of the new Science module and, of course, an amazing week and a half spent side by side with the world’s first film crew.


Long-term Space Travel Could Cause Brain Damage

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

A study led by researchers at the University of Gothenburg indicates that long-duration spaceflight could result in brain damage. The study, published in the JAMA Neurology scientific journal, involved the study of five Russian cosmonauts who lived on the International Space Station (ISS).

Blood samples were taken from the cosmonauts 20 days before their departure to the ISS. On average, they then stayed in space for 169 days (approximately five and a half months). The participants’ mean age was 49.

After their return to Earth, follow-up blood samples were taken on three occasions: one day, one week, and about three weeks respectively after landing. Five biomarkers for brain damage were analyzed. They were neurofilament light (NFL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), total tau (T-tau), and two amyloid beta proteins.

For three of the biomarkers — NFL, GFAP and the amyloid beta protein Aβ40 — the concentrations were significantly elevated after the space sojourn. The peak readings did not occur simultaneously after the men’s return to Earth, but their biomarker trends nonetheless broadly tallied over time.

“This is the first time that concrete proof of brain-cell damage has been documented in blood tests following space flights. This must be explored further and prevented if space travel is to become more common in the future,” says Henrik Zetterberg, professor of neuroscience and one of the study’s two senior coauthors.

Zetterberg and his colleagues are discussing follow-up studies.

New Cosmonaut Candidates Introduced

Four newly admitted Cosmonaut Squad members. (Credit: CPK/Roscosmos)

STAR CITY, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC), four newly admitted Cosmonaut Squad members were introduced to the Center staff. Sergey Teteryatnikov, Alexander Kolyabin, Sergey Irtuganov and Harutyun Kiviryan are cosmonaut candidates of the 2020 open enrollment.


Roscosmos Officials, Cosmonauts Pay Tribute to Yuri Gagarin on Anniversary of Death

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos State Corporation took part in commemorative events dedicated to the tragic death of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and test pilot Vladimir Seryogin on March 27, 2021. On behalf of the State Corporation, State Secretary – Deputy General Director for Exercising State Powers Sergey Dubik, representatives of the Roscosmos cosmonaut corps represented by Heroes of Russia, Roscosmos cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Alexander Misurkin, test cosmonaut Mukhtar Aimakhanov and family took part in the laying of flowers at the Kremlin wall in Moscow.


Roscosmos Selects Four Cosmonaut Candidates

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Interdepartmental Commission (IAC) for the selection of cosmonauts and their appointment to the crews of manned spacecraft and stations within the framework of an open competition for the selection of candidates for cosmonauts of the Russian Federation (the competition started in 2019) decided to recommend the FSBI “Research Institute of the CTC named after Yu.A. Gagarin” appoint four people to the positions of test cosmonaut candidates of the Roscosmos Cosmonaut Corps. The decision came into force on January 27, 2021.

The cosmonaut profession will be mastered by Sergey Irtuganov, Alexander Kolyabin, Sergey Teteryatnikov and Harutyun Kiviryan. In the near future they will start studying the General Space Training (GST) course, which will take place over two years.


Russia Graduates New Class of Cosmonauts

Cosmonaut class of 2020.. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscomos PR) — Today, December 2, 2020, at the Yu.A. Gagarin, a meeting of the Interdepartmental Qualification Commission (ICQC) took place. By the decision of the commission, the qualification of a test cosmonaut was awarded to Konstantin Borisov, Alexander Gorbunov, Alexander Grebenkin, Alexei Zubritsky, Sergei Mikayev, Kirill Peskov and Oleg Platonov. They completed a two-year general space training course and successfully passed the State exam.


Roscosmos Moves Forward with Cosmonaut Selection

The crew of Soyuz MS-16: Russian cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin and with NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Translated from Russian using Google Translate

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos State Corporation has finished accepting applications for participation in an open competition for the selection of candidates for the cosmonaut corps of the Russian Federation, which was announced on June 3, 2019. 

Under the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, it was decided that applicants who submitted an incomplete set of documents for the competition until June 1, 2020 inclusive, will be able to participate in it by submitting the missing documents by the end of the current month.

Within the framework of the competition, from the moment of its beginning to May 31, 2020 inclusively, the competition commission accepted 1,404 applications.  Moreover, 156 applicants provided a full package of necessary documents, including 123 men and 33 women. 

During the extramural selection stage, which will last until June 30, 2020 inclusive, following the results of six meetings, the Competition Commission considered more than 90% of the applicants. 

At the time of publication of this message, 28 candidates (among them three women) have already received an invitation to the in-person selection stage.

Follow the news of selection in the cosmonaut corps of the Russian Federation.

China’s Ambitious Plans to Dominate Cislunar Space

China’s Yutu 2 rover drives off the Chang’e-4 lander. (Credit: CNSA)

Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine China’s plans to achieve a commanding position in cislunar space. [Full Report]

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

China is determined to establish a commanding position in cislunar space, seeing it as a strategic location from which to dominate the final frontier.


Turkey Looks to Send Astronaut to Space Station with Russians

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On October 31, 2019, Roscosmos State Corporation Director General Dmitry Rogozin met with Turkish Ambassador to Russia Mehmet Samsar.

The parties discussed the topical questions of the mutually beneficial cooperation in space, noting the high potential and importance of the subject in the Russo-Turkish relations.

The meeting resulted in an agreement to start preparing a frame intergovernmental agreement between the countries on space. The Turkish delegation also reconfirmed the plans mentioned earlier to organize Turkish cosmonaut training in the Zvyozdny gorodok.

Meet Russia’s New Cosmonaut Candidates

Russia’s newest class of cosmonaut candidates. (Credit; Roscosmos)

Roscosmos has selected eight candidates to begin training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. Below are their biographies.

Borisov Konstantin Sergeevich (Credit; Roscosmos)

Borisov Konstantin Sergeevich
He was born on 14.08.1984 in the city of Smolensk.
Marital status: married, no children.


  • June 27, 2005 graduated from the Russian Academy of Economics. Plekhanov with the qualification “Bachelor of Economics” in the direction of “Economics”.
  • From September 27, 2006 to December 3, 2007, he studied at Warwick University (Cowen-three, UK). After graduation, he was awarded the “Master of Science” qualification in the direction “Operations Research and Systems Analysis”.
  • In June 2018, I completed my studies at the MAI on the Master Program “Life Support Systems for Aircraft” (2016-2018), with the qualification “Master” in the direction of “Aircraft Building”.


  • 01.07.2005-04.08.2006 – assistant to the business controller in CJSC “Volvo Vostok”, Khimki;
  • 01.12.2007-20.07.2011 – an analyst in the Moscow office of the company “A. T. Kar-ni GmbH, Moscow;
  • 10.01.2012-11.03.2013 – Consultant in the Moscow representative office of the company “Booston Consulting Group Limited”, Moscow;
  • 01/09/2014-n. at. – the head on introduction of innovations in LLC “Ferronordic Mashiny”, Khimki.

Military service in the army did not pass.

Russia Selects 8 New Cosmonaut Candidates

Russia’s newest class of cosmonaut candidates. (Credit; Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — By results of the meeting of the interdepartmental commission (MVK) announced the results of the selection of candidates for the cosmonaut detachment in 2017-2018. Named eight new candidates who will continue training in the Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center for further support of the Russian space manned program.

The results of MVK’s work were announced by Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the Roskosmos State Corporation, Sergey Krikalev, Executive Director for Manned Space Programs at Yuri Gagarin Pavel Vlasov, and the director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IBMP) RAS Oleg Orlov.


A Look Back at the Space Year That Was

Total solar eclipse photographed from NASA Armstrong’s Gulfstream III. (Credit: (NASA/Carla Thomas)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

I realize it’s a bit late, but here’s a look back at the major developments in space in 2017.

I know that I’m probably forgetting something, or several somethings or someones. Fortunately, I have eagle-eyed readers who really seem to enjoy telling me just how much I’ve screwed up. Some of them a little too much….

So, have at it!  Do your worst, eagle-eyed readers!


Not Many Cosmonaut Applications So Far

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko marked their 300th consecutive day aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 21, 2016. The pair will land March 1 after spending a total of 340 days in space. (Credits: NASA)

Russia’s open call for prospective cosmonauts has produced only 200 applications since the process began on March 14, Tass reports.

Russia’s state corporation Roscosmos and the cosmonauts training center declared a contest for admission to the team of space explorers on March 14. Each applicant is expected to present a voluminous package of documents, including questionnaires, identification papers, a copy of the work record booklet, a certificate of good conduct confirming there is no history of a criminal record, a security clearance certificate allowing access to state secrets and a pile of medical certificates.

Given the volume of documents required, officials expect many of the applications will be filed during the last month of the call. The deadline for applications is July 14. Six to eight new cosmonauts will be selected.

Last year, NASA received more than 18,300 applications in its call for astronaut candidates. Canada received 3,772 applications for its selection process.


Roscosmos Selects Six New Cosmonauts

New Russian cosmonauts (Credit: Roscosmos)
New Russian cosmonauts (Credit: Roscosmos)

On Monday, Russian space officials named six new cosmonauts out of a group of eight candidates selected for training in the fall of 2012.

The new cosmonaut trainees are Oleg Blinov, Nicholai Chubu, Peter Dubrov, Andrey Fedyaev, Sergey Korsakov and Dmitry Petelin.

Two candidates selected in 2012 — Ignat Ignatov and Anna Y. Kikin — were not on the list of those selected. The original eight candidates were chosen from 304 applications in Roscosmos’ first open call for cosmonauts.

The six men will now go through formal training for spaceflights and be assigned to crews.

New Roscosmos Cosmonauts

Oleg Blinov

Born in 1978 in the village of Kirov-Chepetsk Tatars region Kirov region.

In 1998, he graduated from the Kirov Military Aviation Technical School on “Technical maintenance of aircraft and engines.” Graduated with honors. In 2001 he graduated from the Vyatka State Agricultural Academy, specialty – mechanical engineer.

Previous job: FGBU “Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Institute.” Chief engineer for operations for EVA. Experience in the aerospace industry for over 10 years.

Nikolai Chub

Born in 1984 in Novocherkassk, Rostov region.

In 2006 he graduated from the South-Russian State Technical University, specialty – engineer (“Management and Informatics in Technical Systems”). SRSTU graduate student.

Previous job: OOO “Space Tu.”

Has more than 150 parachute jumps, including flights to suit wingsuit (costume-wing). Russian and European record holder in 2011 in the class of large wingsuit-formations.

Peter V. Dubrov

Born in 1978 in the city of Khabarovsk.

In 1999 he graduated from the Khabarovsk State University.

Software Engineer, specialty “Software computers and automated systems.”

Previous job: OOO “CBOSS International Development.”

Andrey Fedyaev

Born in 1981 in Serov, Sverdlovsk region.

In 2004 he graduated from the Krasnodar Military Aviation Institute “Operation of air transport and air traffic control.

“Military pilot 2nd class.

Sergey Korsakov

Born in 1984 in Frunze (Bishkek NV) Kirghizia.

A graduate of Bauman. Bauman (2006), with honors, an engineer by profession “Rocket Engines.”

Previous job: OOO “Info Capital Group.”

Dmitry Petelin

Born in 1983 in Kustanai Kazakhstan.

In 2006, he graduated from South Ural State University. An engineer, “Aircraft and Helicopter.”

Previous job: Ltd. “NEC”.

Development engineer third category of department “aircraft design.” Experience in the aviation industry for over six years.

Cosmonauts Install UrtheCast Cameras on ISS During Spacewalk

Spacewalker Oleg Kotov works outside the Zvezda service module. (Credit: NASA TV)
Spacewalker Oleg Kotov works outside the Zvezda service module. (Credit: NASA TV)

Update: UrtheCast says that both cameras are functioning normally.

NASA PR — Expedition 38 Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy closed the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment at 3:08 p.m. EST signaling the end of their six-hour, eight minute spacewalk. The cosmonauts finished up work that could not be completed during their last spacewalk on Dec. 27.

The duo wrapped up the installation of a pair of high fidelity UrtheCast cameras that experienced connectivity issues Dec. 27. Kotov and Ryazanskiy also retrieved scientific gear outside the station’s Russian segment.

After exiting Pirs, the duo translated to the Zvezda service module and installed a high resolution camera and a medium resolution camera to capture Earth imagery. However, the medium resolution camera again experienced telemetry issues. The installation work was part of a commercial agreement between a Canadian firm and the Russian Federal Space Agency to provide Earth views to internet-based subscribers.