A group of female astronauts were asked how they would cope in space without men or make-up, at a press conference this weekend.
The Russian astronauts have been preparing for the first ever female-only space mission.
The lunar mission is planned for 2029 and hopes to redress the gender imbalance in space.
This week, the astronauts will commence their isolation test, which requires the six selected women to live for 8 days inside a wood-panelled apartment at Moscow’s Institute of Biomedical Problems.
Sergei Ponomarev, who is supervising the all-female isolation test, says:
“Such a crew is taking part for the first time in a simulation experiment. It's interesting for us to see what is special about the way a female crew communicates.”
While in isolation, the crew will conduct 30 experiments and live in close quarters, to mimic the psychological pressure of a moon mission.
At the press conference prior to commencing the test mission, the astronauts were asked a series of sexist and demeaning questions.
Igor Ushako, director of Moscow’s Institute of Biomedical Problems, said:
“I’d like to wish you a lack of conflicts, even though they say that in one kitchen, two housewives find it hard to live together.”
The crew were also asked how they expected they would cope for 8 days in space without men or make-up.
Scientist Darya Komissarova responded wittily to the comments, saying:
“We are very beautiful without make-up.”
“We are doing work. When you’re doing your work, you don’t think about men and women,” she said.
Anna Kussmaul, another of the astronauts responded saying that they won’t “have time to think about men.”
“Those who will take part in an experiment are not concerned there won't be any men in their crew," she said. "We are here to do our job.”
Other questions suggested that a group of women in isolation would result in bitchiness, but the team leader, Yelena Luchnitskaya said:
“I'm sure we all have the education, personal qualities and the upbringing, at the end of the day. ... So far I can't imagine what would rattle us.”
Sergei Ponomaryov, who is supervising the all-female isolation test, says:
“We consider the future of space belongs equally to men and women and unfortunately we need to catch up a bit after a period when unfortunately there haven't been too many women in space,” he says.
When asked about the predicted outcome of the test, Ponomaryov responded saying:
“We believe women might not only be no worse than men at performing certain tasks in space, but actually better.”
We wonder if Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ever had to put up with such absurd questions....
Images: Facebook, Rex Features