Zvezda and NASA Test Teams

At the Zvezda Plant outside Moscow

Gennady" Refurbished Orlan Space Suit Gennady was the chief test subject for Zvezda and he was also their expert suit engineer. He was usually at their mission control center when Cosmonauts on the Mir did EVA's. He could read and speak English very well. (Most of their engineers could.) Several months earlier he had been a test subject using the Shuttle EMU (space suit) in our Shuttle Airlock facility. I was the test director for that test.

This is the refurbised Mir space suit supported in the chamber and connected to facility equipment in readiness for the test.

Space Test Chamber Their vacuum chamber (vac-camera) did not have an airlock. Instead, the chamber was repressurized to normal pressure in the event of an emergency and the end of the chamber was pulled away on a trolley. The rescue team could then enter and remove the test subject to safety quickly.

ztestcontrol.jpg Their control "room" consisted of an array of equipment consoles adjacent to the chamber. Some of their CRT data displays were more advanced that what we were using at the time, but they still used analog meters that we stopped using in the early 1960's. Their medical officer and medical team were mostly women.

PAGE ONE - Flight to Moscow by charter jet. Visit to the famous open-air market. Red Square and St. Basil in the snow. Kremlin tour. The new mall. Currency exchange, a 500 ruble note, and a glass crystal egg.
PAGE TWO The week a Zvezda (Star) - Zvezda designs, tests, and manufactures space suits, life support systems, and aircraft ejection seats. We went to their plant on the outskirts of Moscow, toured their museum, and observed the manned vacuum chamber test. We made a night visit to Red Square and another subway trip to the Starlight Diner.
ZVEZDA SPACE MUSEUM - Several photos of the displays with commentary. Zvezda built the capsule and life support system for the first dogs in space. There was a big display about that. All the early space suits were diplayed. The spacecraft and airlock from which the world's fist EVA was made was on display.
Space Suit Test at Zvezda - The whole purpose for the trip was to observe an actual manned test of the refurbished Orlan spacesuit that was brought back from the Mir by the Shuttle. These photos show the vacuum chamber (vac-camera), the control consoles, the Orlan suit suspended in the chamber, and Gennady, the expert suit engineer and test subject.
Jemma Mitchell's MOSCOW PHOTOS - Moscow in summer. Red Square, St. Basil, GUM, Kremlin, Lennin's Tomb, Views of the Kremlin from across the Moscow River.
Cycling Moscow to St. Petersburg - This is a really fun travel article. Some great photos around Moscow and out in rural areas. Photos of those who participated in the trip organized by Russian families and promoted on the web. The photos and story get better page after page. Seven great pages in all.
Another MOSCOW Journal - Journal and photos of a man who visited three months after my visit. There are photos of many buildings and some fine artwork from the subway. There is a great photo of one of the Patriotic Sculptures in the subway. It depicts a sitting woman with a rifle. I think I saw it during my subway travels. Part 2 has some copies of paintings from the nineteenth century and photos from the subways.

Skipper Family Magazine

Re-posted: 1/2/03