following article appeared September 19, 2003 in the
Suit Odyssey Ends In Museum
A Boca collector loans rare Russian
space artifacts for display.
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Spacesuits worn by
American astronauts go to the Smithsonian Institution. Used Russian
cosmonauts suits, well, what's your bid?
A rare Russian SOKOL
spacesuit worn (during training) for a 1988 Soyuz mission to the MIR
space station and a 2 1/2-inch thick window from a duplicate MIR are
among the items collector Rick Newman of Boca Raton is lending to the
South Florida Science Museum for it's permanent space exhibit.
The suit, worn by
Bulgarian cosmonaut Krasimir Mihailov Stoyanov, will be presented at
an 11:am ceremony Saturday at the museum.
have been in space longer than anybody, and they've logged more hours
than anybody, and their program inspired our space program,"
museum Executive Director Jim Rollings said.
While most American
space items are off limits, Russian agencies and companies raise money
by peddling historic items and selling space flights to American
Multimillionaires. Newman, who would not disclose how much he paid for
the suit, said it is one of no more than five in the United States,
including one at the Smithsonian.
years, I've developed great contacts in Russia," said Newman, who
has nurtured a passion for collecting space artifacts since his teen
His firm, High-Tech
Productions.com, converts VHS tapes to DVD's for government and industry
clients. His sideline is creating high-tech science centers at 15
scout camps and schools in 11 states with items he's acquired.
"I do it
because I can and at no charge," he said. "I loved this
stuff when I was a kid, but of course you couldn't get it then."
cosmonaut suit has wrist mirrors so the cosmonaut can see beside and
beyond him without turning the bulky suit.
"A spacesuit is
like a giant human-shaped balloon." Rollings said. "Seal it
and it puffs up with pressure."
The exhibit also
includes authentic Russian space boots and gloves, a Mercury-era
American spacesuit, an O-ring from a space shuttle and a replica of an
Apollo mission suit, among other things. (All belonging to Newman).
For more information, contact the South Florida Science Museum in West Palm
Beach at (561) 832-1988.
For more information
about the science centers, log onto www.HighTechScience.org
or call (561) 750-7000.