Boris Morukov, Russian Cosmonaut, died at 64

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Russian physician Boris Vladimirovich Morukov died on 1 January 2015, aged 64, from undisclosed causes.

He joined the professoriate in space, aviation and naval medicine at the Institute for Biomedical Problems in 1978 and received a Ph.D in these disciplines in 1979.

As a cosmonaut-physician, Morukov completed medical training in cardiology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, stomatology, ophthalmology, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation between 1989-91.

In 1995, he took an advanced course in emergency medical care.

In 1996, he completed a medical training course in endocrinology and hematology. For more than two decades he was involved in providing medical operations support for manned space flights.

From 1979-80 he provided medical support for the prolonged space missions on the space station “Salyut 6” as a member of the staff in Mission Control Center.

From 1982-87, Morukov coordinated scientific projects dedicated to the development of countermeasures to the negative metabolic changes that occur during hypokinesia and microgravity.

His specific scientific interest in this area is calcium metabolism correction.

He organized a series of experiments with prolonged head-down tilt, including a 370-day experiment dedicated to the experimental testing of a countermeasure complex for prolonged space flights.

He participated in a joint American-Russian medical experiment on STS-60, Mir 18/STS-71 and all other Mir-NASA Project Missions.

Based on his qualifications, he was continually offered medical-cosmonaut selection and was chosen as a cosmonaut-researcher in 1989.

Upon completion of his basic cosmonaut-training in 1992, he became a cosmonaut-researcher in the Institute for Biomedical Problems.

From January to July 1993, Morukov completed a technical, medical and scientific training course as a cosmonaut-researcher of the cosmonaut-physician flight on-board Mir Station Project (during Mir 15-17 Missions).

From November 1997 to February 1998, he completed a regularly scheduled technical training course, which included ISS Russian-segment systems.

Most recently, Morukov served on the crew of STS-106 (September 8-20, 2000).

The STS-106 crew successfully prepared the International Space Station for the arrival of the first permanent crew.

The five astronauts and two cosmonauts delivered more than 6,600 pounds of supplies and installed batteries, power converters, a toilet and a treadmill on the Space Station.

Two crew members performed a space walk in order to connect power, data and communications cables to the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module and the Space Station.

From 2007 to 2011, Morukov served as project director for Mars500, which culminated in a full-length simulation of a human mission to Mars. For 520 days, six crew members lived and worked inside an isolated mock spacecraft and Mars landing module located at the IBMP in Moscow.

Morukov was bestowed with the “Leader in Public Medical Service” award in 1989 and the “For Merits to Motherland” medal of the 2nd degree in 1996.

He is the author of more than 100 scientific papers and was awarded patents for four inventions.

“A key thing we cannot simulate is the feeling of danger,” Morukov told reporters of the Mars500 crew.

“They were always aware of us following them from behind the wall.” Boris was a great man who lived an extraordinary life.

 

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