Ivan Ivanovich (Vostok programme)

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Not to be confused with SuitSat.
Ivan Ivanovich on display at the National Air and Space Museum in 2013
Full Ivan Ivanovich display

Ivan Ivanovich (Иван Иванович). ("John Johnson"; the Russian equivalent of "John Doe", but "Ivanovich" is not a family name, it's a patronymic) was originally the name given to a mannequin used in testing the Russian Vostok spacecraft in preparation for its manned missions.[1]

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 9 March 1961, accompanied by a dog named Chernushka, various reptiles, and 80 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 26 March 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 12 April 1961.[citation needed]

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.[2] Since 1997, he has been on loan to the National Air and Space Museum, where he is on display, still in his spacesuit.

In 2006, the name Ivan Ivanovich was used as a nickname for SuitSat-1, a satellite made from a disused spacesuit, ejected from the International Space Station.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ivan Ivanovich: Test Flight Mannequin". National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  2. ^ Kazakina, Katya (18 March 2011). "Sotheby's space capsule sale set for lift-off". The Age. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 

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