Apollo: When We Went to the Moon Site Index
Vostok (SK-1) Suit Gallery


The sign accompanying the suit. It reads

The First Space Suit

A Diving Suit for Space

The Sokol SK-1 suit was the first space suit ever used. It was worn by Yuri Gagarin on his historic first flight to orbit the Earth. SK-1 stood for "Skafandr Kosmicheskiy #1," meaning "diving suit for space." After his successful flight, the suit continued to be used for other cosmonauts until 1963. Sokol SK-1 was a full pressure space suit with a life support system and was used for flights in which the cosmonauts would eject and land separately from the spacecraft. The suit included an attached helmet with visor, an inflatable rubber collar for use in a water landing, a mirror attached to the sleeve to view hard-to-see switches and gauges, a pressure liner with connectors for life-support and communications hoses, leather-palm gloves, heavy leather boots, and a leather-covered radio headset. Valentina Tershkova, the first woman to fly in space, used a variation called the SK-2.

Other than on Astronautix, this sign is the only place where the SK-1 suit is referred to as a "Sokol SK-1." I'm more familiar with "Sokol" referring to a later type of Soviet/Russian intravehicular suit, a type of which is still used today.

I've also read that "Skafandr Kosmicheskiy" means "space suit", and indeed Google Translate provides that exact translation.

Sign accompanying the Vostok (SK-1) Suit at Apollo:  When We Went to the Moon
Time picture taken Sat Jun 22 10:33:54 2019
Location picture taken Apollo: When We Went to the Moon Exhibit
Space Hall
"Old" Museum
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville, AL
Prev Vostok (SK-1) Suit Gallery Next