Superpowers meet in space - HISTORY
July 17, On this date, Soviets and Americans accomplished the first joint space docking between two nations in the Apollo-Soyuz Test. As part of a mission aimed at developing space rescue capability, the U.S. spacecraft Apollo 18 and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 rendezvous and dock in . Hours later, Apollo followed, lifting off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 3: 50 p.m. On board were astronauts Thomas Stafford, Vance.
This mission laid the groundwork for initiatives such as the Mir-Shuttle program of the s, and the International Space Station that was completed in Kennedy famously started the race for the moon in as a way to beat the Russians in something. The two countries sparred over communism, nuclear arms and other policy matters in the years following.
Leonov are photographed together in the Soyuz Orbital Module during the joint U.
Apollo and Soyuz meet in space | History TV
They are the respective commanders of their crews. NASA As the years lengthened, though, relations between the countries improved. Beyond the technology, it would also be a demonstration to the world of peace and shared purpose. Still, Brand acknowledged that there were some tensions between the two countries at the beginning. But he characterized the situation as temporary.
Commander Deke Slayton said the rooms the Americans used in the Soviet Union were bugged, but after a while the crew learned to use them to their advantage. It had been closed off to Americans, for the most part, before then.
He became head of NASA's astronaut office and, after a lengthy medical program, selected himself for this mission. At the time, Slayton was the oldest person to fly in space and the one with the longest gap between selection as an astronaut and first flight into space.
Superpowers meet in space
Brand, meanwhile, had trained with the Apollo spacecraft during his time as a backup Apollo 15 command module pilot, and had served two stints as a backup Skylab commander. The Soyuz flew with two men: Alexey Leonov and Valeri Kubasov. Leonov became the first man to walk in space on Voskhod 2 in Kubasov, who flew on Soyuz 6 inran some of the earliest space manufacturing experiments. Both were to have flown on the ill-fated Soyuz 11 in Leonov as commander, Kubasov as the flight engineerbut were grounded because Kubasov was suspected to have tuberculosis.
The two-man crew on the Soyuz was a result of the modifications needed to allow the cosmonauts to wear the Sokol pressure suit during launch, docking, and reentry.
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Russians, Americans Meet in Space
The ASTP-class Soyuz 7K-TM spacecraft used was a variation of the post-Soyuz 11 two-man design, with the batteries replaced by solar panels enabling "solo" flights missions not docking to one of the Salyut space stations. Before the actual mission, two craft were launched unmanned as Kosmos satellites. The third was launched as the manned Soyuz 16 flight as a rehearsal in order to test the APAS docking mechanism.
Another craft was used fully fueled as a "hot backup" at the launch site — later it was disassembled. And the sixth craft was available as a "cold" backup; it was later used on the last "solo" Soyuz flight inbut with the APAS docking adapter replaced by the MKF-6 multispectral camera.
Apollo–Soyuz Test Project - Wikipedia
Launch and mission[ edit ] The Apollo spacecraft, as seen by the Soyuz crew. The historic handshake between Stafford and Leonov U. The astronauts and cosmonauts assembled this commemorative plaque in orbit as a symbol of the international cooperation. The Soyuz and Apollo flights launched within seven-and-a-half hours of each other on July 15, and docked on July Three hours later, the two mission commanders, Stafford and Leonov, exchanged the first international handshake in space through the open hatch of the Soyuz.
NASA had calculated that the historic handshake would have taken place over the British seaside resort of Bognor Regis but a delay resulted in its occurrence being over the city of Metz in France. While the two ships were docked, the three Americans and two Soviets conducted joint scientific experiments, exchanged flags and gifts including tree seeds which were later planted in the two countriessigned certificates, visited each other's ships, ate together, and conversed in each other's languages.
Because of Stafford's pronounced drawl when speaking Russian, Leonov later joked that there were three languages spoken on the mission: Russian, English, and "Oklahomski. American scientists developed four of the experiments performed during the mission.