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Credit - © Mark Wade
Class: Manned. Type: Space Suits. Nation: Russia. Manufacturer: Zvezda.

The Orlan spacesuit was used for Russian EVA's on Salyut, Mir, and the International Space Station. It was designed by the Zvezda OKB, and derived from the Kretchet suit intended for use on the lunar surface.

It consisted of flexible limbs attached to a one-piece rigid body / helmet unit. The suit was entered through a hatch in the rear of the torso. The exterior of the hatch housed the life support equipment. Maximum operation time was three hours when the Orlan-D version of the suit was first used on Salyut 6. Later Orlan-DM versions of the suit increased this period to nine hours. The integrated design meant that no external hoses were required as in the American space suits. The suit standard pressure was 0.40 atmospheres, so that a prebreathe period of only 30 minutes was required. Electrical power and communications were via an umbilical cord to the station. Control of the suit was via a panel on the chest, with the markings in mirror image. The cosmonaut viewed the panel using a mirror on the wrist of the suit.

Orlan Chronology
  • 1968 March 20 - Lunar spacesuit review. - Program: Lunar L3.
    Meeting with Gay Ilyich Severin. Two spacesuits are being developed for the L3 program: the Krechet-94 and Orlan. Both have been in development for two years. The Krechet-94 will allow six hours of lunar surface activity, the Orlan, 2.5 hours. Both weigh about 90 kg. There are consumables for a total of 52 hours of life support in the LK and the LT Lunar Cart. Kamanin feels the suits are too heavy, due to Mishin's demand for a 5 km range from the LK over a three day traverse with the LT. Severin could have instead developed the spacesuit used by Leonov to have a four hour autonomous operation, but Mishin insisted on doubling of the capacity.


  • Kamanin, N P, Skritiy kosmos, Infortext, Moscow, 1995.

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© Mark Wade, 1997 - 2008 except where otherwise noted.

Credit- Zvezda

Credit- Zvezda

Orlan space suit
Credit- David van der Ven

Orlan Drawing
Credit- NASA

Orlan DM Spacesuit
Orlan DM spacesuit used on Mir....
Credit- Andy Salmon
Orlan DM spacesuit used on Mir.

Spacesuit Orlan
Orlan space suit as used on Salyut 7 and Mir space stations....
Credit- Zvezda
Orlan space suit as used on Salyut 7 and Mir space stations.

Orlan space suit
Credit- © Mark Wade

Mir EVA - Solar Panel...
Credit- RKK Energia
Mir EVA - Solar Panel