10 Photos - Feb 17, 2014
Photo: Here is how the Sokol suits look when they're "empty" and ready to be donned. As you can already see, the entire front part of the torso is opened and that's how you get it on.Photo: First you slide your feet through the opening and don the lower part of the suit.Photo: Then you slide your arms in.Photo: Then comes the tricky part, passing the head through the neck ring. I have been a bit spoiled during my training sessions, because the Sokol suits I got were typically a bit big for my size and that makes this maneuver a lot easier. When I put on my custom-made suit last week, I had to work a lot harder. You need to make sure that the back side of the suit is as stretched as possible and then you need to tuck in your head while you push the neck ring forward. Tricky at first, but after some practice it's not so hard.Photo: After passing the head throught the neck ring, this is the status. You still have the front part completely open and the internal membrane is loose.Photo: After donning your com cap, you pass the cable through the neck ring and then connect it inside of the suit.Photo: Then you carefully fold the internal membrane of the suit and wrap two elastic bands very tightly around it.Photo: You close up the abdomen part of the suit.Photo: Then you zip close the upper part.Photo: And ready you are! If it's a warm day, you might connect the ventilation hose to a portable ventilator to keep cool before you connect to the ventilation system in the Soyuz (or, more often, the Soyuz simulator).