Alexander Autographs is holding a sale of various historical collectibles early next month, with the top lot expected to be a document signed by English explorer and adventurer Sir Francis Drake. But some collectors may be more interested in memorabilia from a very different kind of explorer.
Suits of any kind intended for use in space travel are always very rare and in demand and the Sokol KV-2 Rescue Suit is no exception.
The suit was not a spacesuit in the literal sense of being intended for use during EVAs (Extra Vehicular Activities) in the vacuum of outer space, rather it was a line of defence against the vacuum of space entering into the spacecraft - depressurisation caused by some kind of malfunction.
The tightly fitting suit, the basic format of which is still in use in cosmonaut space programmes now, is mainly intended to be worn during take-off and landing, and can be connected to the craft's system to provide oxygen, electronic functions including communication and if necessary cooling water.
Designed in the mid to late 1970s, this particular suit was custom-made for cosmonaut Vladimir Yevgenyevich Preobrazhenskiy - this is indicated on one of the gloves.
The suit is soft in order to allow unimpeded movement, but would not have been comfortable to wear due to the tight fit and remarkable weight - in the region of 8kg. Nevertheless, it could have preserved the wearer's life for up to two hours in a depressurised cabin - a welcome piece of kit - and is estimated at $12,000-15,000.
The auction takes place in Connecticut, USA, on June. Earlier this year, we had the privilege of selling the flight suit of Michael Collins - the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11. But the signed training suit of Buzz Aldrin - the second astronaut on the moon after Neil Armstrong - is now available.
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