EMERGENCY "FOREL" HYDROSUIT ISSUED TO COSMONAUT ALEXANDER VICTORENKO.
BACK-UP SURVIVAL HYDROSUIT FOR THE COMMANDER OF THE SOYUZ TM-3 FLIGHT. A "Forel" [Trout] flotation suit made of rubberized orange nylon with watertight cuffs and foam rubber hood labeled "CCCP" above the forehead. A totally integrated suit with boots and legs having extensive lacing. A self-inflating life preserver is attached to the front chest with dual manual inflation tubes plus an emergency beacon signaling device. The suit also has a pair of large removable insulated water tight gloves and a triangular emblem on the upper left arm featuring a rocket rising from the earth and "CCCP" lettering. The suit is opened via a large vertical metal front zipper along the torso. The inner liner has an identification tag in Russian, which translated, reads in part: "Trout. N. 0350569. Size p.4."
The "Forel" suit was designed to protect a cosmonaut during emergency landings in water, shallow swamps, or snow conditions. The cosmonaut would put on the suit prior to exit of the spacecraft. Emergency exit training in water always used the hydrosuits.
Provenance: Zvezde, the manufacturer; Sotheby's, Russian Space History, New York, December 11, 1993, lot 365. With a Sotheby's folio containing both English and Russian language certificates which read: "This is to certify that FOREL (Trout) hydrosuit N 0350569 is the original hydrosuit of cosmonaut Alexander VICTORENKO manufactured at RD&PE ZVEZDA in 1985. The hydrosuit was used as a back-up one during flights of the SOYUZ TM spacecraft. Signed: G.I. SEVERIN, General Designer General Director RD&PE ZVEZDA."
Alexander Victorenko's first space mission was Soyuz TM-3 during July 1987, a flight to the MIR space station. He later commanded the Soyuz TM-8 mission of September 1989.