Юрий Гагарин: "Я чувствовал себя хорошо..."
Yuri Gagarin: "I was feeling well ..."
If the "missing magnetic field" problem would be actual for Yuri Gagarin, who was in space for about an hour (1 hour and 48 minutes total flight time), how the extended missions for Valeri Polyakov could be possible?
Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov (Russian: Валерий Владимирович Поляков, born Valeri Ivanovich Korshunov on April 27, 1942) is a Russian former cosmonaut. He is the holder of the record for the longest single stay in space in human history, staying aboard the Mir space station for more than 14 months (437 days 18 hours) during one trip. His combined space experience is more than 22 months.
As for Yuri Gagarin, there were many reasons for him to return in a nearly critical conditions. Reported dynamic acceleration during gyrations on the reentry phase of that flight was 8g, which is about maximum an average human can stand for extended period (more that few seconds).
Gagarin was selected and trained to stand dynamic acceleration. Just as other cosmonauts he was trained to stand the conditions which might well kill an average untrained man. Not only he stayed conscious all of the flight, he was reporting to earth during the flight, making records using paper and a tape recorder. He was also observing the navigation device "Взор" (Sight).
The last situation which could potentially be dangerous during the flight was right upon exiting the "Sharik" (little ball - the descent vehicle).
Gagarin described the ejection seat to carry him out of "Sharik":
Так тихонько голову кверху повернул, и в этот момент выстрел — и я
катапультировался — быстро, хорошо, мягко, ничем не стукнулся.
Подробнее см.: https://www.nkj.ru/archive/articles/19414/ (Наука и
жизнь, Юрий Гагарин: «Я чувствовал себя хорошо...» (Комментарий к
Главному полёту ХХ века))
"..and I was catapulted - fast, good and gently; did not hit anything".
The rest was parachuting descent from 7 kilometers.
After returning to earth atmosphere Gagarin could be able to participate in following activities:
- Struggling to reach the handle of breathing valve for 6 minutes while he was probably suffocating
- Safely grounding in 7 meters per second wind conditions (In my own experience that requires good physical mode).
- Signaling to the people who saw him
- Contacting local military authorities
- Photographing with the locals
- Coordinating his own returning
It suggests he was not in a critical health state out of space trip by no means, whether it could be caused by missing magnetic field, weightlessness, homesickness or something else.