It’s always fantastic to see the Speedmaster (both Professional and X-33) still working for a living in the icy coldness of interplanetary space. It’s interesting also though, to see what guys for whom accurate time is much more of an essential than most of us choose to wear in addition to the usual kit – and nice to see that Fortis, which has a long-standing relationship with Roscosmos, is still getting flight time. We’ll close with some comments shared with us by NASA’s Kirk English last year:
“The Omega Speedmaster Professional is issued by Energia [KLE: the Russian aerospace company] as the standard for crewmembers that fly on the Soyuz, modified with an elastic strap (not Velcro) that wraps around the outside of the Sokol suit instead of a bracelet. The Russians have the option to wear it during their EVAs, on the outside of their Orlan spacesuits. On the USOS side [KLE: USOS are all non-Russian crew], we are not allowed to wear it on the EMU (I don’t think it’s a certified/authorized configuration). The elastic band is too big to wear around the wrist without a space suit, that’s why you never see crewmembers wearing them inside the ISS.”
“The X-33 is worn by most because its alarm is really loud. ESA crewmembers now wear a new version of the X-33, with more functions and a new color scheme.”
Check out our full photo coverage of the Speedmaster in space throughout history right here. For a look at the Speedmaster specifically designed for long term space flight, check out our review of the X-33.
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