Whole Object Name
Kazbek-U Shock Absorbing Couch
Kazbek-U Shock Absorbing Couch used by Helen Sharman during her flight to the Mir space station in 1991. Sharman’s trip to Mir as part of Project Juno made her the first British person in space. It is displayed with Helen Sharman's Sokol KV-2 Rescue Spacesuit that she used in training, to demonstrate the conditions for cosmonauts during launch and landing.
Kazbek Couches are used by cosmonauts inside Soyuz spacecraft. Each cosmonaut receives a custom-made liner for the seat that helps increase the human capability to withstand g-force acting on the occupant. The seat serves as a crew workstation and provides shock absorption during take-off and landing. The blue stick that protrudes between the cosmonaut’s legs, similar in appearance to a joystick, is a press-to-talk button for communication. The Cyrillic text on the joystick reads 'связь', which translates to mean ‘link’ or ‘communication’. By pressing to talk, in conjunction with a SHL-10 Communications Headset, the cosmonaut can communicate with ground control.
This Kazbek-U Shock Absorbing Couch #882P manufactured by NPP Zvezda in 1980, has been used in testing, development, and the following missions:
Feb 1984 on Soyuz-T-10 by Oleg Atkov (USSR)
July 1984 on Soyuz-TM-3 by Muhammed Ahmed Faris (Syria)
May 1991 on Soyuz TM-12 by Helen Sharman (UK)
March 1995 on Soyuz-TM-21 by Norman Thagard (USA).