What Unusual Items Do Russian Cosmonauts Take with Them into Space?

Despite years of discussions and agreements about limiting weapons in space, Soviet cosmonauts always reserved the right to include a triple barrel pistol in their Soyuz survival kits. Originally intended as protection against wolves and bears after a hypothetical touchdown in the Siberian wilderness, the TP-82 pistol also featured a folding stock that could be used as a shovel, and a hidden machete inside.

While waiting for recovery on land, the pistol could be used for hunting, for defense against predators, or for firing distress signals. There were a few dozen rounds of three types of ammunition in the kit – rifle bullets, shotgun shells, and flares, all usable in the unique gun.

Armed and ready, just in case:

  • Anecdotal information indicates that Russian cosmonauts no longer take the all-in-one firearm onboard their spacecraft.

  • Soyuz survival kits contain food rations, water bottles, warm clothing, rope, fish hooks, and other miscellaneous survival gear. American Gemini and Apollo spacecraft carried similar kits.

  • It is believed that guns were first taken onboard Soyuz spacecraft after an off-course landing in March 1965. Depending on the source of the story, a Soyuz crew encountered wolves (or in some versions, a hungry bear) before the rescue chopper arrived.

Follow wiseGEEK:

More Info: NBC

Discuss this Article

Post 1

The Russians are so far ahead of the PC Mericans.Oh the horror of having a gun for protection.

Post your comments

exception 'Exception' with message 'error writing captcha: Duplicate entry '2147483647' for key 'PRIMARY'' in /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/Captcha.php:44
Stack trace:
#0 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/controls/public/ControlDiscussionPostBox.php(324): Captcha->createCaptcha()
#1 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(104): ControlDiscussionPostBox->preRender(false)
#2 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): Control->render()
#3 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/tpl/twitter/pages/public/article/article.htm(57): Control->__toString()
#4 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(300): require('/ssd/www/wisege...')
#5 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(309): Control->requireTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom), true)
#6 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(131): Control->renderTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom))
#7 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/FormDataControl.php(87): Control->renderTemplate()
#8 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(109): FormDataControl->renderTemplate()
#9 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/ScriptPage.php(50): Control->render(false)
#10 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): ScriptPage->render()
#11 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Page.php(97): Control->__toString()
#12 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(443): Page->processRequest()
#13 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(7): PublicFrontController->renderPage()
#14 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/index.php(11): PublicFrontController::run()
#15 {main}

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

Built at the request of Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations Headquarters has a meditation room dedicated to silence.   more...
October 1 ,  1890 :  Yosemite National Park was established.  more...