Home - Search - Browse - Alphabetic Index: 0- 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9
A- B- C- D- E- F- G- H- I- J- K- L- M- N- O- P- Q- R- S- T- U- V- W- X- Y- Z
Russian space suit. The first Russian space suit was designed for the Vostok cosmonauts in 1959-1961. It was adapted for use as the first extravehicular activity suit in 1964. Korolev expected cosmonauts would not normally need pressure suits. The loss of the Soyuz 11 crew in 1971 in a cabin depressurization proved that to be a fatal error, and the Sokol was redesigned in a crash program to provide Soyuz astronauts protection during ascent and return from orbit. The simple design proved so successful it remained in use into the 21st Century, and became the basis for the Chinese space suit as well.


Sokol SK-1 Russian space suit, operational 1961 for the Vostok spacecraft.

Berkut Russian space suit, operational 1965. Berkut was a modified Vostok Sokol space suit. The needs of the cosmonaut were supplied not through the umbilical cord, but rather through a simple open-cycle environmental control system.

Sokol-K1 Russian space suit, operational 1971. After the Soyuz 11 tragedy, in which all three unsuited cosmonauts died in a decompression accident, the Soviets scrambled to produce new IVA suits.

Sokol-KV2 Russian space suit, operational 1990. Improved version of the Sokol IVA suit developed for use aboard Soyuz T.

Chinese Space Suit The Shenzhou flight suits were reverse-engineered from the Russia Sokol suit. The suits are designed to protect the astronaut in the event of cabin depressurization, and not for use in extra-vehicular activity.

1961 February 14 - .
1962 June 25 - .
  • Female cosmonaut space suit - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Alekseyev, Semyon. Flight: Vostok 6. Spacecraft Bus: Sokol. Spacecraft: Sokol SK-1.

    Kamanin meets with Alekseyev on the design of a space suit for the female cosmonauts. He advises the designer of the absolute need to have them finished by the end of the year and provides the measurements of the five ladies. Alekseyev advises he cannot possibly complete the suits earlier than the first quarter of 1963. He won't be pressured in the absence of an official government decree -- at the same time that Korolev and Smirnov are pressing the Central Committee for permission to make a female flight in September 1962!!

1962 August 27 - .
  • Female Vostok flights delayed to 1963 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 10, Vostok 11, Vostok 12, Vostok 5, Vostok 6, Vostok 6A, Vostok 7, Vostok 8, Vostok 9. Spacecraft Bus: Sokol. Spacecraft: Sokol SK-1.

    The prospects did not look good for authorisation of production of ten further Vostok spacecraft. In a heated discussion between Rudenko, Ivanovskiy, and Grechko, it was argued that production of further Vostoks would delay flight of the first Soyuz spacecraft by a year. On the other hand this would mean no Soviet manned flights in 1963-1964. Furthermore Ivanovskiy reported that production of the female version of the Vostok space suit could not be completed until the end of 1962. Therefore this meant that the flight of two female cosmonauts in the final two available Vostok spacecraft would be delayed until March-April 1963 - the very end of the storage life of the spacecraft.

1963 May 9 - .
  • Cosmonauts Tour Glushko Factory - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Alekseyev, Semyon, Glushko, Khrunov, Komarov, Korolev. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft Bus: Sokol. Spacecraft: Sokol SK-1.

    Victory Day Holiday in the Soviet Union. The cosmonauts toured Glushko's engine factory. Glushko has 11,000 employees at four locations. The resentment between Glushko and Korolev, going back to their time in the Gulag, is apparent. Korolev calls during the tour but Glushko does not return his call. Later Alekseyev contacts Kamanin and proposes that Komarov be the back-up cosmonaut for Vostok 5 rather than Khrunov - because he hasn't finished the suit yet for Khrunov!

1963 May 13 - .
  • Korolev fights excessive VVS staff at Tyuratam. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Alekseyev, Semyon, Bykovsky, Cooper, Korolev. Flight: Mercury MA-9, Vostok 5, Vostok 6. Spacecraft Bus: Sokol. Spacecraft: Sokol SK-1.

    The VVS wants to send 55 staff to Tyuratam for the launches, but Korolev wants no more than 25. This is just possible - 11 cosmonauts, 8 engineers, and vital support staff only. Bykovskiy was to start a two day run in the hot mock-up, but it was called off due to defects with his suits - the biosensors were wired to his helmet microphone! The suit seems not even to have been tested before delivery. Alekseyev was supposed to have it ready by 9 May, now it will only be ready for use by 14 May. Gordon Cooper is scheduled for a 34 hour Mercury flight tomorrow....

1963 May 17 - .
  • Problems with Titov again. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bykovsky, Titov, Volynov. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft Bus: Sokol. Spacecraft: Sokol SK-1.

    Problems with Titov again. While on a road trip with a journalist, he left a satchel with sensitive and classified papers unattended in his car - documents from Korolev, secret state decrees by the Supreme Soviet, etc. At 12:30 Volynov took Bykovskiy's place in the hot mock-up. Examination of Bykovskiy's suit showed that it had been incorrectly assembled.

Home - Search - Browse - Alphabetic Index: 0- 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9
A- B- C- D- E- F- G- H- I- J- K- L- M- N- O- P- Q- R- S- T- U- V- W- X- Y- Z
© 1997-2017 Mark Wade - Contact
© / Conditions for Use