This couch liner is a part of a custom-fitted anti-gravity seat into which cosmonauts are strapped during the launch and landing of Soyuz spacecraft. NASA astronaut, Dr. Norman E. Thagard used this couch during his historic flight on board the Russian space station Mir (March-June 1995). The liners are removable cocoons; having been custom-molded to fit each individual cosmonaut's anatomy and fit into a shock-absorbing couch that is designed to prevent injury during landing. On arrival at the space station, the cosmonauts remove their couch liners and re-center them in the "Kazbek" frame aboard the other docked Soyuz craft. During his 15-day mission on board Mir, Dr. Thagard became the first American to spend time on board a Russian space station. He remains the only American to launch on board the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
NASA transferred this couch liner to the museum in 1997.
Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration