Sokol KV-2 emergency suit
Sokol KV-2 emergency suit as worn by British ESA astronaut Tim Peake during the Principia mission to the International Space Station, 2015-16, RD&PE ‘Zvezda’ Joint-Stock Company, 39 Gogol Street, Tomilino, Moscow Region, 140070 Russian Federation.
This is British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Sokol spacesuit which he wore during the Principia mission to the International Space Station from 2015-2016. Developed by RD & PE ‘Zvezda’, all cosmonauts wear this suit during the launch of their mission into space and again during their return to earth. The Sokol suit was developed after three unsuited cosmonauts asphyxiated on the Soyuz 11 mission in 1971 when their descent module depressurised during the return to Earth. The suit is connected to the spacecraft’s life support systems and provides approximately two hours of oxygen and carbon-dioxide removal in the event of a cabin depressurisation.
The suit is tailored to fit the individual cosmonaut. The shape is contoured for the wearer’s sitting position in the Soyuz couch which requires the knees to be drawn up near to the chin in a ‘foetal’ position. This shaping of the suit causes the ‘cosmonaut stoop’ as the cosmonaut walks to the rocket. The gloves are detachable with anodised aluminium bayonet fixings and boots are worn over the feet only for the cosmonaut’s walk to the launch (children’s gifts/toys are often inserted into the boots as talismen).
The museum also has British astronaut Helen Sharman’s Sokol spacesuit, which she wore on her mission to the Mir Space Station in 1991. Sharman was the first British person in space.