STREKALOV'S FLOWN SOYUZ TM-10 SPACE SUIT.
"Sokol KV-2" ("Falcon" in Russian) pressure suit, manufactured by Zvezda. White nylon canvas, royal blue trim, approximately 60 inches tall. Attached pressurized hood, hinged polycarbonate visor securing to blue-anodized aluminum clavicle flange. Sleeves with adjustable articulating cables in upper arm, webbed belt lashings. Pressure gauge on left sleeve, mirror affixed to right sleeve with elastic strap. Detachable gloves. V-shaped double-zip front closure, lace-up crotch covered by triangular Velco-affixed placket. Anodized aluminum umbilical interfaces on body for electrical, air and coolant supplies, with related cables and hoses. Anodized aluminum pressure equalization valve at center of chest. Support sling wrapping round chest and back, consisting of webbed belts and metal clips; adjustable webbed straps calibrated in metric attaching to metal rings on side-seams and at crotch. Pleated knees, cargo pocket on each thigh and each shin, integral boots with soles. Rubberized cloth lining. Patches of the Soviet standard on left sleeve and State Seal of the Soviet Union on right; Zvezda logo on chest, name label on chest-webbing. Leather radio headset with mesh skullcap, gray nylon canvas overshoes tucked into leg pockets. Light discoloration, one sole inscribed in ink, in Cyrillic, "Greetings, Ilya Kirillyich!" Supported on external frame.
Soyuz TM-10 was the tenth mission to the Mir space station. It launched on August 1, 1990, with two crew members: Commander Gennadi Manakov, and Flight Engineer Gennadi Strekalov. Also on board were four quail, for delivery to the Mir module Kvant-2, which was designed for scientific experiments. Kvant-2 had an Inkubator-2 unit for hatching and raising quail. After more than four months at Mir, the two Gennadis returned to Earth, taking with them a Japanese journalist who had been making a television program.
Cosmonaut Strekalov was a veteran of space flight, and had even been involved in a launch pad abort in 1983. He wore the present space suit during the launch, Mir docking, and re-entry of the TM-10 mission. The Sokol-KV2 remains the current version of the suit, and is lighter still than its predecessors mainly due to new materials used in the pressure layer. The visor is larger than that of the original Sokol-K, laces have been replaced with zippers, and mobility at the joints has been improved.
This suit spent 130 days in space. The significance of the inscription on one sole is unknown.
Provenance: Sotheby's, Russian Space History, New York, December 11, 1993, lot 176; The Forbes Collection.