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Russia to deliver 1st new-generation spacesuit to world’s sole orbiter in December

October 18, 16:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The first next-generation spacesuit Orlan-MKS for work in outer space will be delivered to the International Space Station in December
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© EPA/ESA/NASA/TIM PEAKE

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. The first next-generation spacesuit Orlan-MKS for work in outer space will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) in December, CEO and Chief Designer of the Zvezda Research and Production Enterprise Sergei Pozdnyakov told TASS on Tuesday.

"Now all the difficulties have been overcome and two spacesuits are fully ready for their delivery to the ISS. One of them is to be delivered by a Progress MS-04 space freighter in December and another by a Progress MS-05 spacecraft in 2017. This will be followed by the delivery of the third backup spacesuit," the chief designer said.

It was initially planned that the spacesuits would be delivered to the world’s sole orbiter back at the end of 2014.

"The delay with the delivery was caused by the insertion of two considerable innovations into the new-generation spacesuits - the automatic thermal regulation system, i.e. actually climate control so that cosmonauts do not get distracted from their work in outer space for regulating temperature manually, and also the replacement of the rubber air tight wrapping with a principally new layer made of polyurethane, Pozdnyakov explained.

New air tight wrappings are very durable and wear-proof and "they can be called actually eternal," the chief designer said. 

Russia ready to design spacesuits for lunar missions 

A spacesuit for work on the Moon’s surface can be designed using the Orlan vest as a model, Pozdnyakov added. The Zvezda Enterprise does not see "any major problems with the development of lunar spacesuits." 

"The Orlan spacesuit can be used as the basis to solve the problem with the mobility of the leg wrappings," Pozdnyakov explained.

The development of such a spacesuit was stipulated by the federal space program for 2016-2025 until it was sequestered. 

"Now no such works are prescribed in any of the documents and we have not received any official requests on this matter," the enterprise’s chief designer said.

The Central Research Institute for Machine-Building (or TsNIImash), which is the main research institute of Russia’s State Space Corporation (Roscomsos), said in spring that Russia planned from 2025 to annually carry out one or two manned flights to the Moon. They are expected to be carried aboard promising spacecraft Federatsiya.

Russia also considers organizing a lunar base, including as part of international cooperation.

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