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12 April 1961: the birthday of space telemedicine

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On the morning of April 12th, 1961, the day of the first human space flight, I went to the Remote Space Communication Center located at 3 Stroiteley Street, in Leninsky Prospect. This is where first ever telemedicine session for receiving information on the cosmonauts’ physical condition during space flight was scheduled.

Grigory Zlotin, a recognized expert in the field of telecommunications, founded the Cente and I, as a leader of our medical control team, was responsible for receiving the cosmonauts’ physical condition from space and then analyzing it. In essence, this was the first Space Flight Medical Control Center that led to the formation of the present-day medical control system for space missions. That day, we had an extremely critical task. We were responsible for monitoring the status of the medical equipment aboard the Vostok spacecraft, from the moment it was turned on when Yuri Gagarin entered the spacecraft in its ready-for-launch position and connected his spacesuit to the communication network. It was vital not only to assess the quality of the received information and possibilities of its analysis, but even more importantly, to continuously observe the cosmonaut’s physical condition during his space mission.


Roman М. Baevsky. 12 April 1961: the Birthday of Space Telemedicine; No.6; May 2015; p.8-17; DOI:10.12710/cardiometry.2015.6.817 Available from:

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