MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut have completed survival training in freezing weather in woods outside Moscow, the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center said Friday in a statement.
Gennadii Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly constructed a makeshift hut, built a signal fire, and practiced first aid on each other in -20C or -4F weather as preparation for emergency space landings in remote forests or swamps.
The future crew of the International Space Station is scheduled to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in spring 2015.
Kornienko and Kelly are planned to be the first astronauts to stay aboard the ISS for a full year, which would be the longest spaceflight by a NASA astronaut. Previous missions have been capped at six months.
The all-time duration record is held by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who spent over 14 months aboard the Mir space station in 1994-1995.
The emergency preparations are not without cause.
International Space Station
Alexei Leonov, the first person to walk in space, spent two nights camped in -30C or -22F weather in a Russian forest with crewmate Pavel Belyayev after their Voskhkod spacecraft left them stranded 400km or 250 miles from their expected landing site in 1965.
Russian cosmonaut survival kits include a specially designed heat suit, wool hat, fur boots and a pistol to fend off wolves and bears.