While internet sources report that US dealer Gotta Have It! is holding an auction of Michael Jackson costumes and other memorabilia sourced from the singer himself, a look at the auction house's catalogues reveals a costume worn not by a star, but to visit them...
This extraordinary Soviet Union cosmonaut spacesuit was used during the inception of the country's Salyut space program, back in the early-1970s. Salyut was the Soviet Union's first space station program, undertaken in response to NASA's plans to build a space station of its own.
Quoting Gotta Have It!'s description: "the spacesuit is similar in appearance to a high-altitude pressure suit used to fly military aircraft. Pressure hoses connect to ports on the suit, which also has a pressure gauge and a set of valves for the cosmonaut's manipulation."
The historic suit is presently for sale complete with a helmet fastened to it, visors to protect the wearer and gloves attached to the suit which swivel at the wrist joint. The boots are integrated into the rest of the suit for proper air-tightness in the vacuums of space.
As shown in the photographs, the suit bears two sewn-in patches, one with the letters "CCCP" (Cyrillic for "USSR"). It is for sale with a certificate that "unconditionally guarantees the authenticity of this item," and an impressive price of $25,000.
There's a lot of money in Russian spacesuits. Last year, a suit designed to deal with the rigours of use in space itself (outside the spacecraft) sold for €87,000 in Paris, above a pre-sale estimate of €65,000-75,000.
Needless to say, Gotta Have It!'s suit is a rare a surviving artefact from the Soviet Union's early era of space exploration.
The program in which it was used eventually lead to the creation of Salyut 1, the first space station to orbit the Earth, which launched on April 19, 1971.
Meanwhile, collectors on the look for Space Memorabilia can find another astronaut's suit with exceptional provenance.
A signed Apollo 11 training suit worn by Buzz Aldrin, the Second Man on the Moon himself, is presently for sale on the market - and you can find more information here.
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