Coming Soon to the National Mall: Dennis Tito's Sokol KV-2 Pressure Suit
California businessman Dennis Tito became the first tourist in space on April 28, 2001. After months of training and preparations in Moscow and at the Cosmonaut Flight Training Center in Star City, Russia, Tito was launched on board the Soyuz TM-32 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan and spent six days on board the International Space Station. He paid the Russians a reported $20 million for this adventure, qualifying him as the “first tourist in space” by traveling for purely recreational purposes at his own expense.
Tito wore a Sokol ("Falcon") space suit, designed in the early 1970s to protect cosmonauts during launch and landing or unexpected emergencies. The plugs and tubes extending from the suit connect to life-support systems built into the Soyuz spacecraft. The suit was manufactured by the Russian company, Zvezda.
This space suit has been donated to the Museum by Mr. Tito, and will go on display in the National Mall building in early July 2005.
The Museum’s Web site has more details about the Sokol KV-2 Pressure Suit and a photo of one worn by American Astronaut Norm Thagard.