Stay confined for several weeks or months, astronauts are used to. But if they can manage this time, it is also because they are helped. Romain Charles, support engineer for European astronauts at the European Space Agency, is responsible for facilitating the daily lives of men and women who go into space so that “they can focus on their mission”, as he l explains on Europe 1 Thursday. He gives some advice to live well this confinement imposed by the crisis of coronavirus.
“One of the first things for a confined astronaut is to stay busy”
The support engineer works in Cologne, Germany, where the astronaut training center is located and where it is currently in containment. “The work begins two years before an astronaut is sent to the ISS,” he explains. Two years during which he prepared him for containment and the problems that could arise.
Romain Charles for example worked with French astronaut Thomas Pesquet in the European Space Agency and was responsible for looking after him on his 200-day ISS mission between November 2016 and June 2017. “He had a very busy schedule. The astronauts have their day scheduled for One of the first things for a confined astronaut is to stay busy, “he said. Telecommuting or not, so as not to go crazy, it is therefore advisable to find yourself activities (we give you some tips here) !
Thomas Pesquet also shared a few tips on Twitter on Tuesday to help the French cope with the confinement imposed on the territory:
– Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) March 17, 2020
The key to living well in confinement: communicating
The engineer also participated in the Mars 500 program, a false ship in which 5 volunteer astronauts were confined to simulate a round trip to Mars for 520 days. The mission went well even if there were “ups and downs,” he admits.
According to Romain Charles, it is “possible to live confined for a long time” but “probably not for everyone”. To defuse the moments of tension – which the French could experience during the confinement imposed by the coronavirus crisis -, Romain Charles advises to communicate, inside and outside the home. “The moments of tension we had, we defused them because we were talking to each other,” he notes.
The support engineer wants to be reassuring: “This confinement will be shorter and is only temporary. So there is a way to overcome all the small inconveniences that we can see. If we cannot do something, we will will do in two or three weeks. ”