No, this is not a Bazinga. Remember that spacesuit Howard Wolowitz wore when he took off in Season 5 episode "The Countdown Reflection" on The Big Bang Theory? The suit that Froot Loops floated around in as 13 million people watched on their TV screens was just auctioned off by ScreenUsed’s Hollywood Memorabilia Auction and skyrocketed to $12,000.
The costume that actor Simon Helberg wore for his first and only voyage outside of the atmosphere (okay, a set that looked remarkably like the inside of a Russian Soyuz capsule) was designed by replica and costume company Global Effects to be almost indistinguishable from the Sokol KV-2 pressure suits that have been worn on actual missions.
“They wanted everything, the patches, the name tags that we were going to wear, every little detail to look as authentic as possible, and what we would be doing before the flight, during the countdown,” retired NASA astronaut Mike Massimino told CollectSpace.
Global Effects president and founder Chris Gilman actually used a real Soviet-era Sokol KV-2 suit to create patterns for the costumes. With little time to get these suits made, he admitted it was a challenge to find cording and webbing in the exact same blue that was used on the original. It ended up being mission accomplished.
Massimino, who was the only real astronaut on that episode and has been to the ISS and back multiple times, also noted that the suits worn on the show were not as heavy as the real deal but still had the potential to be suffocating. The actor-astronauts were each given a water bag to keep them cool under those punishing lights. ScreenUsed has even confirmed that the suit “has a built-in fan that still works.”
This suit actually went for pretty cheap if you consider that the starting price was $10,000—and that authentic Soyuz spacesuits worn by astronauts on the ISS have gone for upwards of $50,000.
But. This was Wolowitz’s suit, and The Big Bang Theory is soon going to end with a big bang. Every hardcore fan of the show who didn’t have ten grand hidden in a space vault somewhere probably wanted to own it.