USSR's Top Secret Space Experiments: A "Martian Project"

Russian Institute of medico-biologic problems has celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday.

It used to be one of the top secret facilities in the country. The Institute’s main focus has not changed since then. Its main area of research deals with space medicine.

Local police department referred to the secret space Institute as the “Martian Project.” Despite the fact that the building is situated in Moscow, it is quite difficult to find it. One must first pass by three brick five-story buildings, an enormous fence and then walk through a whole range of electronic systems in dark corridors. This medico-biologic center was built right after the famous breakthrough in space industry. It was at that time that two Russian scientists Korolev and Keldish began working on a new project—a mission to Mars.

“The Institute was created specifically for long lasting flights. There were a lot of unknown facts, many uncertainties concerning the experiments conducted here on the Earth,” reports Institute’s Deputy Director Victor Baranov.

This was no sci-fi! This was work. In the course of several years, the country’s best scientists managed to turn peoples’ notions of human capabilities upside down. Who could ever imagine that several volunteers will adjust to an almost completely vertical sleeping pattern and keep up with such habit for a year? Such was the way of testing a human organism.

Mars, however, remained the main target. Sergey Korolev has personally developed the very first space ship for traveling to the Red planet. At first sight, the landing module’s interior resembles that of a regular aircraft, like Tu-154 for instance. In reality however, this is an extremely unique and pricy piece of machinery. The ship is equipped with special aluminum pathways in order to ease astronaut’s mobility. Americans have also attempted to build something similar but miserably failed after investing about $100 million.

Astronaut Boris Morukov has a rather rare profession. He is a space doctor, a prototype of Tarkovsky’s “Solaris.” It is precisely due to his successful experiments that modern astronauts are capable of almost anything in space. Just one injection is enough. Boris Morukov has been literally living a life between the institute and space in the course of the past several years.

“One of the main goals of the modern space industry is to extend an astronaut’s life span. We often have astronauts over 50 years old being launched in space. They return feeling absolutely fine, as a result of our Institute’s diligent work,” says Boris Morukov. 

A romantic epoch of space examination has not finished, mentions the Institute. They are currently designing a mission to the Red planet scheduled for 2005. The Space Odyssey continues. 

Dmitry Kaistro

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Author`s name Olga Savka