Whole Object Name
Russian Forel Hydrosuit
Spacesuits and Clothing
This Forel hydrosuit was issued to cosmonaut Aleksandr Poleshchuk during the Soyuz TM-16 mission to the Mir space station in 1993. Poleshchuk spent 179 days in space, including carrying out two spacewalks.
Forel – Russian for ‘Trout’ – hydrosuits are designed as part of the safety systems for cosmonauts returning to Earth. Made as a one-piece heavyweight nylon suit, it is waterproof and designed to float in case the cosmonaut lands off course in either water, swamp, or heavy snow conditions. It has a self-inflating 'Neva' life preserver (inflatable collar), similar to those used on airplanes, with a mouthpiece and tube in case extra inflation is necessary. A light beacon can be found on the right hand side, along with a distress signal device laced into a pouch on the right hand waist. The rubber soled boots are built into the suit, although the detachable water tight gloves are no longer present. Poleshchuk would have entered the suit via the large vertical metal zip on the front.
All cosmonauts receive extensive survival training, in case they land a significant distance from their intended target and there is a period of time before the rescue team can get to them. Inside a Soyuz spacecraft, a Granat-6 ('Pomegranate') survival pack is stowed between the cosmonaut's seats. The Granat-6 kit includes Forel hydrosuits for each crew member and is intended to keep them alive for up to twelve hours in extremely cold conditions (and up to three days when used in conjunction with the spacecraft they land in). The kit also includes a thermal suit, a machete, emergency rations, flares, fishing tackle, and even a gun.