Russian Forel Hydrosuit

Whole Object Name

Russian Forel Hydrosuit

Collection

Spacesuits and Clothing

Description

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.

Object number

2016-43
  • image Aleksandr Poleshchuk's Forel Hydrosuit
  • image Aleksandr Poleshchuk's Forel Hydrosuit, with signature on inside of left zipper seam
  • image Aleksandr Poleshchuk - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Cosmonaut sea-survival training in the 1990s, using Forel hydrosuits similar to this one - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image British astronaut Tim Peake wearing a modern Forel suit, during survival training - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center/ESA
  • image Forel Hydrosuit being used during survival training by Randy Bresnik - Credit: NASA/Randy Bresnik/Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Cosmonauts undergoing sea-survival training in modern-day Forel hydrosuits - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image A cosmonaut undergoing sea-survival training, whilst wearing a Forel hydrosuit and setting off a flare - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Winter survival training. The cosmonaut is still wearing a Sokol KV-2 spacesuit, but Forel hydrosuit and TZK-14 cold weather suit are included in the survival kit provided - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Aleksandr Poleshchuk's Forel Hydrosuit
  • image Aleksandr Poleshchuk's Forel Hydrosuit, with signature on inside of left zipper seam
  • image Aleksandr Poleshchuk - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Cosmonaut sea-survival training in the 1990s, using Forel hydrosuits similar to this one - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image British astronaut Tim Peake wearing a modern Forel suit, during survival training - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center/ESA
  • image Forel Hydrosuit being used during survival training by Randy Bresnik - Credit: NASA/Randy Bresnik/Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Cosmonauts undergoing sea-survival training in modern-day Forel hydrosuits - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image A cosmonaut undergoing sea-survival training, whilst wearing a Forel hydrosuit and setting off a flare - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Winter survival training. The cosmonaut is still wearing a Sokol KV-2 spacesuit, but Forel hydrosuit and TZK-14 cold weather suit are included in the survival kit provided - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center

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