Lunar test: All-female Russian crew complete 8-day Moon flight simulation

Participants in an experimental imitation of orbiting the Moon by a female crew after the experiment. From left: Darya Komissarova, Tatyana Shiguyeva, Polina Kuznetsova, Inna Nosikova,m Anna Kussmaul and Yelena Luchitskaya. © Kirill Kallinikov
An eight-day experiment imitating a space trip to the Moon, dubbed Luna-2015, has finished for the all-female Russian crew. The six women, who were locked inside simulated spacecraft, say they “didn't even come close to ripping each other’s hair.”

This marks the first time that the crew is all-female, and at least one of the experiment’s participants hopes to become a real cosmonaut in the future.

"Of course I want to go into space. This has been a priceless experience in the isolation that comes with space flight," Inna Novinova told journalists.

The crew were banned from taking their cell phones with them, and stayed in touch only with the medics' command center.

Anna Kussmaul. © Vladimir Pesnya

They also couldn’t use the shower, and had only wet wipes for their personal hygiene. Also, the women had about 90 minutes’ free time during the day, working the rest of the time.

The crewmembers got along really well, despite the hardship – confounding skeptics’ predictions.

"To those who said we'd end up ripping each other's hair out: we didn't even come close to that," Daria Komissarova said.

Tatyana Shiguyeva. © Kirill Kallinikov

The women missed their close ones much more than any daily comforts, another crewmember, Anna Kussmaul, said.

"Not knowing what was going on in their lives for eight days bothered me a lot more than not having shampoo or chocolate," she told journalists.

The six crewmembers were selected from dozens of volunteers, and were monitored by a team of 30 scientists.

A similar experiment – involving mixed crews – was conducted in 2010, and simulated a flight to Mars. It lasted 519 days.

Polina Kuznetsova. © Kirill Kallinikov