Roscosmos, NASA Join Children in Cancer Center to Paint Pieces for Spacesuits

© Sputnik / Igor Russak / Go to the mediabankThe stand of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). (File)
The stand of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). (File) - Sputnik International
The Victory spacesuit will become the fifth spacesuit created as a part of the Space Suit Art Project which is aimed at raising awareness of cancer issues and giving hope to people fighting cancer.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia's Roscosmos state space corporation and the US space agency NASA have joined the patients of the Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston in painting pieces for two new real spacesuits on Friday, founder and president of "Unity" movement Alyona Kuzmenko told Sputnik.

"Today, Roscosmos cosmonauts and NASA astronauts worked hand-in-hand on a beautiful art project with the patients of Texas Children’s Cancer Center," Kuzmenko said. "As part of the international Space Suit Art Project, Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Tikhonov and NASA astronauts Jack Fischer, Nicole Stott, Mike Foreman, and Doug Wheelock spent the morning with the children painting on fabric pieces that will be used to create the Victory and Exploration spacesuits."

The Exploration suit as well as Unity, Hope  and Courage suits will be on permanent display in the following months at Space Center Houston, NASA’s Johnson Space Center visitor center.

The Victory spacesuit will be the fifth spacesuit created from the pieces created by children and adults battling cancer. The other spacesuits, named Unity, Hope and Courage, have already been produced by the project.

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"Victory spacesuit which will be manufactured by Russia’s Research & Development Production Enterprise Zvezda," Kuzmenko said. "The suit, painted by more than 150 patients from Moscow, Lipetsk, Yaroslavl and Houston, symbolizes the end of the cancer journey, something every patient, family and doctor strives for. Getting each patient to the moment where they ring ‘the end-of-treatment bell’ is everyone’s goal — the ultimate Victory."

Kuzmenko also shared that the VICTORY art spacesuit cover is planned to be worn on the Russian Orlan suit and left in space during a Russian spacewalk later in 2018.

"The Victory art spacesuit will be jettisoned into space from the International Space Station as the first ever orbiting art exhibit in space," she revealed. "Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin, Yury Gidzenko, Fyodor Yurchikhin, Nikolay Tikhonov, and Andrey Babkin took active part in the project."

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The Unity suit has been created from the pieces crated by children battling cancer form around the world, including from Russia, the United States, Canada and Germany to represent cancer issues, spread awareness and give hope to cancer patients across the globe. The goal of the Unity suit project is to show that a victory over a severe illness as well as a space flight is a difficult physical and emotional test that can be accomplished only by working in a team.

The first suit Hope made of more than 600 pieces hand-painted by the patients, their families, and the MD Anderson personnel symbolizes hope for recovery.

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The suit Courage was made by MD Anderson patients most of whom were isolated from their families during the course of treatment. The suit symbolizes courage of the patients forced to stay away from the loved ones similar to when astronauts go to long space exploration missions.

The Space Suit Art Project was launched by Stott and director of the Arts in Medicine Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Ian Cion to demonstrate the benefits of arts and science to adults and children fighting cancer. The patients are tasked with hand-painting fabric patterns, which then get stitched together into wearable replica spacesuits at ILC Dover space suit manufacturer.

The project has been supported by the ISS Program and all of the ISS partners, the space suit company ILC Dover, Space Center Houston as well as the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.

In Russia Space Suit Art Project is developed by Unity organization supporting cancer patients in collaboration with Roscosmos, Zvezda, MRI-Expert chain of diagnostic centers and bank for SMEs Modulbank.

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