What consists of a spacesuit

The Russian spacesuit by Klaus-Dietrich Flade

In December 1995 the Deutsches Museum was able to purchase a Russian space suit directly from the Russian manufacturer NPO Zvezda. The SOKOL KV-2 spacesuit was worn by the German science astronaut Klaus-Dietrich Flade. In March 1992 he was the first German to fly on a one-week research mission to the Russian space station MIR. The SOKOL KV-2 spacesuit was developed in 1979-80 for flights with the SOJUS-TM spacecraft that can accommodate three people. Its purpose is to protect the space travelers from a sudden drop in pressure in the capsule. The suit is also designed to provide protection against cold and drowning in the event of an unscheduled landing in the water.

Under normal conditions during take-off, landing and docking, the rubberized inner shell of the suit receives breathing air from the cabin atmosphere via hose lines, which also provides cooling.
In the event of a pressure drop, the spacesuit closes hermetically and is supplied with pure oxygen via a separate container. A cooling and dissipation of the body heat of the space traveler is then no longer possible. The survival time in this condition is about 1-2 hours.
The inner cover is made of natural rubber on chlorosulfonated nylon fabric with a polyamide coating (CAPRON), the outer cover is made of LAVSON fabric (Russian DACRON-like polyester fiber).
The empty weight of the suit is 8.8 kg. There is a mirror on the right arm, because when the suit is under pressure, the space traveler’s freedom of movement is severely restricted.

The suits are made by hand. At the elbows and knees, the suit can be individually adapted to the size of the space traveler. A technical problem that has not yet been fully resolved is the permanent preservation of the suit. For the exhibition in the Space Department, a specially developed support frame was developed for the Russian SOKOL KV-2 and for other spacesuits on display, which is intended to minimize chemical reactions in the suit. The support structure consists of commercially available MERO system parts made of anodized aluminum.

The chest, arms and legs were formed in the sculptor's workshop from approx. 1 mm thick polyester coarse fabric using hot air. It was padded with kapok wadding. Natural cotton fabric was sewn over the padding. This fabric forms the contact surface with the inner shell of the suit. The head is molded from a laminated polyester material.


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