Do astronauts on the International Space Station have a backup spacesuit with them so that they could use it in case of any malfunction with one of the spacesuits?

If so, how many spacesuits does each astronaut have?

If not why they don't have a backup ?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ ...do they even have one for each person on the station? $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Aug 28, 2013 at 11:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SF I do not think so. Mostly for storage space reasons. Russian Orlan suits stay on their end of the station in one of the docking modules (Rassvet?). The US ones stay in or near the Quest airlock. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Aug 28, 2013 at 12:49

2 Answers 2


There is space for two full Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), one short EMU, and two Orlan space suits (Russian equivalent to the EMU) aboard the ISS. They are stored in the Joint Airlock. Since the spacesuits are not part of the emergency plan, they do not store one for every astronaut (let alone a backup for each).


Note: I wouldn't normally use another Q&A site like Quora as a source, but in this case a verified expert answer is given there by someone whose identity and qualifications are known.


At the moment all astronauts on the ISS are launched on a Soyuz capsule/booster. Thus they wear the Sokol space suit, for launch. It is similar to the ACES suit worn by Shuttle astronauts during launch.

Sokol is not meant for EVA, but is meant to provide support in case the capsule depressurizes on launch or descent.

Thus everyone on board currently has a 'spacesuit', but not one in which they could survive outside the station for very long.


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