At first, the equipment was used for pilots flying at high altitudes on jet planes. But later it turned out that the flight suit was not suitable for its parameters. It turned out to be suitable only for the helmet. And then after a thorough rework.
The stratospheric spacesuit is a very complex device. Management is compared with the management of jet aircraft. An astronaut simply may not have “extra” seconds to make decisions. It was required to create a spacesuit with automatic or semi-automatic functions of work.
For the first time, space suits were tested on dogs Ryzhik and Lisa (June 24, 1954). In the future, it was considered inappropriate to test suits in animals. After all, for them they were created according to their size and body features. After each test, the spacesuit would have to be re-designed. And this is a very big expense.
By the time Yury Gagarin was sent on a flight in the USSR space program, there was already a good experience with the creation of spacesuits. In particular, by sending mannequins into space in full-size space suits. The first fully tested spacesuit was adopted by the commission eight months before the flight of Y. Gagarin. It was called SK-1. It was used in all space flights aboard the Vostok series. In the event of a ship depressurization, the astronaut could “hold out” in a normal state for another ten days while in the spacesuit. SK-1 provided in automatic mode not only temperature protection, but also allowed to remove the excess moisture released during breathing. The helmet was closed automatically, the oxygen supply from emergency reserve cylinders was also automatically turned on. For Valentina Tereshkova, the designers created a slightly different spacesuit, called the SK-2. It takes into account the features of the female body.
In 1964, the designers were tasked to create a spacesuit that provides protection for the astronaut during a spacewalk. For this purpose, developed a spacesuit "Berkut". Its main advantage was that it was like an enlarged thermos. The temperature difference (more than 100 degrees) on the solar and shadow sides of the ship was regulated automatically in a spacesuit. In addition, it was multi-layered and well protected from radiation. It was in this spacesuit on March 16, 1965 that Alexey Leonov entered open space. Five times he moved away from the ship and again approached him.
In 1967, space flights began on the Soyuz spacecraft in the USSR. A new spacesuit was needed, which astronauts could quickly take off on a ship and just as quickly put on if necessary. But the main thing - the spacesuit had to have an increased resource in terms of life support. The designers solved these problems by creating a spacesuit of the new type “Hawk”. The respiratory mixture in it was automatically cleared of carbon dioxide.
Toward the 70s, a race began in the development of astronautics in the United States and the USSR, the purpose of which was to land part of the crew from a manned spacecraft to the moon. To the spacesuit new requirements. They concerned, above all, the conditions of work on the moon. There, as you know, there is a very large temperature difference on the sunny and shady side. For this reason, it was decided to use water cooling in a spacesuit.
A serious problem was also the movement of an astronaut through the lunar regolith in conditions of reduced aggression. The suit was supposed to provide the opportunity for the astronaut to return to his upright position in the event of a fall. The lunar mission in the USSR did not take place, because the Americans were ahead of us in the race. Although in the USSR a three-stage lunar rocket was almost completely developed, and the Krechet spacesuit was even accepted by the commission.
A unique Orlan spacesuit was created for operation at the Mir space station and the ISS. Its important feature was that it did not require an individual fit for an astronaut. For the first time "Orlan" was tested on the "Salute-6". In total, 25 such space suits were made for astronauts. They made more than 200 spacewalks. By the way, in the Soyuz cosmonauts are sent to orbit in the Sokol spacesuits.
Few people know that for the reusable space shuttle "Buran" a special spacesuit was also developed - "Stryzh-ESO".
Of course, there are analogues in the United States. But the Soviet and Russian spacesuits are better than the US in many ways. This is recognized by the astronauts themselves. And our specialists are not going to give up leadership here.
Here is the latest news on this. In April 2015, the designers of the Russian NGO Zvezda presented a new spacesuit. Its important feature is that it guarantees the rescue of an astronaut in the event that he escapes more than a hundred meters from the ship in emergency mode. The automation works in such a way that it turns on the backpack engines, delivers the astronaut to the airlock and controls his entrance.