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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Orlan Space Suit

Orlan MK spacesuit at the MAKS 2009 exhibition
Can you tell that that the labels on the controls are printed backwards?
I didn't notice until someone else pointed it out, and then I zoomed in for a closer look and sure enough the writing might be backward. Little hard to tell being as it's Cyrillic and all.

Note the mirrors strapped to the cosmonauts right forearms.
From Encyclopedia Astronautica:
Russian space suit, operational 1978. The Orlan spacesuit was used for Russian EVA's on Salyut, Mir, and the International Space Station. It was designed by the Zvezda OKB, and derived from the Kretchet suit intended for use on the lunar surface.
It consisted of flexible limbs attached to a one-piece rigid body / helmet unit. The suit was entered through a hatch in the rear of the torso. The exterior of the hatch housed the life support equipment. Maximum operation time was three hours when the Orlan-D version of the suit was first used on Salyut 6. Later Orlan-DM versions of the suit increased this period to nine hours. The integrated design meant that no external hoses were required as in the American space suits. The suit standard pressure was 0.40 atmospheres, so that a prebreathe period of only 30 minutes was required. Electrical power and communications were via an umbilical cord to the station. Control of the suit was via a panel on the chest, with the markings in mirror image. The cosmonaut viewed the panel using a mirror on the wrist of the suit.

GazB tells us:
The old US suits needed to be put on one piece at a time. So body piece on first then upper leg joint and then lower leg joint and other leg, then arms and then helmet. With all the joints and the testing of seals it took two men over 4 hours to put on a suit. This Russian suit comes completely assembled already, the back pack folds open and you climb in from the back, the backpack is folded shut and the seals are tested and checked. All the systems can be tested and ready in about 40 minutes.

Wikipedia has an article as well.


Ole Phat Stu said...

Re pre-breathe period: watch this video at around the 48 second mark... ;-)


Chuck Pergiel said...

For some reason I find this kind of crap hilarious in person, but kind of blah when translated to digital.