Kansas Cosmosphere Site Index
Vostok (SK-1) Suit Gallery


One of the signs displayed with the suit. The sign reads

SK-1 Space Suit

The First Space Suit

Vostok 1 lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 1961, with Yuri Gagarin on board. The pioneering cosmonaut wore a protective SK-1 space suit similar to the one displayed here. This suit, used for training Vostok cosmonauts, was very likely worn by Gagarin as he trained for his historic voyage into space.

The 51-pound SK-1 suit was built up of layers with different purposes. The orange outer layer made it easy for recovery helicopters to spot the cosmonaut on the ground. Other layers prevented chafing and provided ducts for air circulation. Four layers would keep the cosmonaut warm and dry if he splashed down in icy water. A flotation collar would then inflate to keep him afloat until help arrived. The SK-1 helmet visor shut automatically for launch, reentry, and in case the Vostok capsule lost pressure. Pockets held a pistol, a knife, a radio, and shark repellent.

Sign accompanying Vostok (SK-1) Suit at Vostok (SK-1) Suit
Time picture taken Fri Apr 15 14:56:00 2016
Location picture taken Early Spaceflight Gallery
Hall of Space
Kansas Cosmosphere
Hutchinson, KS
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