Swipe Into Space: what happens to spacesuits after returning to Earth?

For this fourth episode of Swipe Into Space, we return to Earth with the astronauts returning from the mission. We take this opportunity to answer a strange, but nevertheless relevant question: what happens to the spacesuits after their return?

This is a question that we do not think about, yet it is very legitimate: once they have been used by an astronaut during his mission, what happens to space suits? Each is tailor-made for each astronaut, in duplicate. Involving a colossal budget, and whose technical specifications can fill a dictionary! Because without a suit, it is impossible to go out into space. Or rather, the exit will be short-lived, because a human cannot stay there alive! Boiling due to low pressure, cosmic ray irradiation, extreme temperatures, anything will kill you!

50,000 euros on Ebay to recover his own space suit

It is an unlikely adventure experienced by Clayton Anderson, American astronaut. After spending four months on board the ISS, he would have liked to keep his equipment as a souvenir, like his colleagues. Only, NASA inadvertently sent his suit back to Russia and could not get their hands on it. Until the day he receives an email from one of his Nasa cronies: a link to an Ebay article. They can’t believe it, but almost 10 years later, Anderson has just got his hands on his gloves… for the modest sum of 4,000 dollars! They are stamped KA, these are the initials of Clayton Anderson in the Cyrillic alphabet. Neither one nor two, he buys the pair to be able to present them in his space museum in Nebraska.

Swipe Into Space: see episode 4

But Clayton does not intend to stop there and thinks that the seller must be able to find his entire combination! And that’s what happens, the latter has everything: the suit, the gloves, the boots and even his underwear! But for that, he asks for 50,000 dollars! Anderson then remembers being offered $10,000 before the mission to get his spacesuit back. He had thought it was a joke, which he must bitterly regret today… After a campaign to appeal for donations from the Space Museum, the astronaut ended up recovering his equipment, at the cost of long years of research and almost 80k dollars. It is now on display in Ashland, Nebraska.

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