Manoeuvring unit for Russian space suit

Manoeuvring unit for Russian space suit

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: SMK manoeuvring back pack. Also known as the UMK, it was introduced in 1990 to allow a cosmonaut to fly around the outside of the Mir space station during extravehicular activity (EVA) in orbit. The unit fits over the normal Orlan space suit and has propellant to allow powered movement. Although it remained tethered to the outside of the space station for safety, it did allow access to areas not reachable by normal EVA procedures. Cosmonauts preferred using the station's crane system instead.

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