Ivan Ivanovich (Vostok programme)
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Ivan Ivanovich (Иван Иванович). ("John Johnson"; the Russian equivalent of "John Doe") was originally the name given to a mannequin used in testing the Russian Vostok spacecraft in preparation for its manned missions.
Ivan Ivanovich was made to look as lifelike as possible, with eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes and a mouth. He was dressed in a cosmonaut suit, with a sign reading "МАКЕТ" (Russian for "dummy") placed under his visor, so that anyone who found him after his missions would not think he was a dead cosmonaut or an alien.
He first flew into space on Korabl-Sputnik 4 on March 9, 1961, accompanied by a dog named Chernushka, various reptiles, and eighty mice and guinea pigs, some of which were placed inside his body. To test the spacecraft's communication systems, an automatic recording of a choir was placed in Ivanovich's body - this way, any radio stations who heard the recording would understand it was not a real person. Ivan was also used to test the landing system upon return to Earth, when he was successfully ejected from the capsule and parachuted to the ground.
His second space flight, Korabl-Sputnik 5, on March 26, 1961, was similar - he was again accompanied by a dog, Zvezdochka, and other animals, he had a recording of a choir (and also a recipe for cabbage soup to confuse any listeners) inside him, and he safely returned to Earth. These flights paved the way for Vostok 1, the first manned flight into space on April 12, 1961.
In 1993 Ivan was auctioned at Sotheby's, with the winning bid coming from a foundation belonging to US businessman Ross Perot. He fetched $189,500. Since 1997 he has been on loan to the National Air and Space Museum, where he is on display, still in his spacesuit.
- "Ivan Ivanovich: Test Flight Mannequin". National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
- The Age, 18 March 2011: Sotheby's space capsule sale set for lift-off