St. Joseph’s College biology professor Tetyana Delaney, Ph.D., was among just 12 people in the world taking part in the SIRIUS (Scientific International Research In a Unique terrestrial Station) 21 Mars mission.
Naturally, members of the SJC community had some questions for her.
And we gave her a chance to answer them.
During a virtual meeting led by her colleague and fellow biology professor Francis Antonawich, Ph.D., Dr. Delaney responded to questions submitted by SJC Long Island’s Biology Club, Astronomy Club and other biology faculty members.
Her Mission in Moscow
Dr. Delaney, now finishing up her training in Moscow as a member of the six-person backup crew, was picked by NASA to participate in the exclusive project. The mission is helping them prepare to send scientists to Mars, recording how the SIRIUS 21 crew responds psychologically and physiologically to isolation and confinement, as well as how they react to additional stressors while working as a unit.
The mission is a collaboration between NASA and Russia’s Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP).
Dr. Delaney began participating in training for the mission in August. And though she’s set to fly home from Moscow on Saturday, she plans to continue assisting the primary crew any way she can.
“My mission is not over yet,” Dr. Delaney said during the interview. “I will continue to be backup. I will support them. We can send messages, supportive emails. This is what we will do all eight months, and hopefully it will help them.”
Today marks the first day of the six-person primary crew’s eight-month stint in an isolated pod in Moscow, during which they’ll live as if they were astronauts in a spaceship heading for Mars.
“Definitely, it will be sad to part with all of the crew members,” Dr. Delaney said. “We decided, and we already have made the plan to meet after (the mission is over). We’ve become now a family.”