Krechet lunar space suit as displayed at NPO Zvezda. As in the Orlan suit still used on Mir, the cosmonaut entered the suit by swinging open a hatch at the rear. The backpack containing the life support system was housed in the backpack which made up the hatch door. As in Apollo, the gold-coated outer visor of the helmet reflected ultra-violet radiation. The integrated Kretchet design meant that no external hoses were required as in the American Apollo suit.
Credit: Andy Salmon
Status: tested 1969.
The suit was entered through a hatch in the rear of the torso. The exterior of the hatch housed the life support equipment. Maximum operation time was ten hours.
As in the Orlan suit still used on Mir, the cosmonaut entered the suit by swinging open a hatch in the hard abdomen of the suit at the rear. The backpack containing the life support system was integrated with the hatch. As in Apollo, the gold-coated outer visor of the helmet reflected ultra-violet radiation. The integrated Kretchet design meant that no external hoses were required as in the American Apollo suit.
|Orlan Russian space suit. The Orlan spacesuit was used for Russian EVA's on Salyut, Mir, and the International Space Station. It was designed by the Zvezda OKB, and derived from the Kretchet suit intended for use on the lunar surface.
|EVA 2000 Russian space suit, tested 1995. Prototype full pressure suit effort between ESA and USSR to upgrade the Orlan DMA.
Front view of the Krechet lunar space suit
Credit: Andy Salmon
|LK Egress Tests
Another view of LK egress tests, showing the challenge of squeezing through the LK hatch in the Kretchet suit.
|LK Egress Tests
Another view of LK egress tests. This view makes clear the large size of the backpack of the Kretchet suit and the tight squeeze getting into and out of the LK lander.
|Early Egress Test
Close-up of the earliest version of the Kretchet suit and LK mock-up during egress tests.
|LK egress tests
Numerous tests were conducted to determine the best hatch and ladder configuration for the cosmonaut in the bulky Kretchet spacesuit. It was found the standard Soyuz hatch had to be replaced by a customized oval hatch.
Credit: RKK Energia
Rare view of suited cosmonaut in the interior of the LK Interior during landing training. The cosmonaut had a viewing angle to the surface through the main window of 7 degrees from the vertical. A collimator indicated the predicted LK landing point.
Credit: RKK Energia
Meeting with Gay Ilyich Severin. Two spacesuits are being developed for the L3 program: the Krechet-94 and Orlan. Both have been in development for two years. The Krechet-94 will allow six hours of lunar surface activity, the Orlan, 2.5 hours. Both weigh about 90 kg. There are consumables for a total of 52 hours of life support in the LK and the LT Lunar Cart. Kamanin feels the suits are too heavy, due to Mishin's demand for a 5 km range from the LK over a three day traverse with the LT. Severin could have instead developed the spacesuit used by Leonov to have a four hour autonomous operation, but Mishin insisted on doubling of the capacity.
In a four-hour meeting, a number of issues are dealt with. First point was military control of the KIK control centre for lunar missions. A civilian mission control centre is requested. Next, the issue of recovery of L1 and L3 capsules in the Indian Ocean. The re-entry corridor within which landings might occur is 6000 km long and 100 km wide, stretching from Antarctica to India. To cover it will require 20 naval vessels, each with a helicopter, and 10 An-22 or Tu-95 long-range maritime reconnaissance and relay aircraft. Total cost: 600 million roubles. As Kamanin sees it, all this is due to Mishin's inability to design spacecraft capable of precision landing that also incorporates the landing and recovery aids requested by the VVS. Kamanin notes in his diary violent criticism of Mishin's disregard for the safety of the cosmonaut crews, development of crew-associated items at the last minute, unrealistic schedules and expectations, etc. etc. Severin reports that the lunar space suit he is designing will support the cosmonaut for three days, during walks extending 5 km. To do this requires a bulky suit weighing 100 kg. Kamanin disagrees, saying what is needed is to develop a simple and safe approach for the first landing, with a minimum programme for the cosmonaut - not the fantastic schemes of Mishin.
Pushkin and Kuznetsov brief Kamanin on the results of the N1/L3 expert commission. They found that the N1/L3 is unreliable and that the design needs to be fundamentally re-examined. Therefore the Soviet Ministers and Central Committee passed a decree that the commission must determine by 1 May 1971 what to do with the lunar project. Kamanin's opinion: abandon the N1-L3, modify Chelomei's UR-700 design to replace it, and design a new lunar landing spacecraft for missions in 1974-1975. Mishin is afraid of such a solution. Kamanin believes that the commission, headed by Keldysh, will finally recommend continued development and flight of Mishin's bad booster and even worse spacecraft. It is true that the N1 design has been substantially reworked in the last 18 months, but Kamanin believes it to be fundamentally flawed and that nothing can make it reliable.
After Mishin pushed his Indian Ocean recovery plan for the L3, the VVS insisted on sea trials of the capsule. These showed the cosmonauts had to get out within 30 to 35 minutes before the valves to the interior started leaking seawater. The L3 is also unsafe due to the EVA method of transfer to the LK of a single unassisted cosmonaut. The Krechet spacesuit is very bulky and unmanoeuvrable.
Prague wanted Gagarin's widow for International Women's Day.since Tereshkkova couldn't go, but she wants no part of public appearances.