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Cooperation in Space

July 4, 1975

Report Outline
Joint U.S.-Soviet Space Mission
Rapid Progress in Space Programs
Goals of Future Space Exploration
Special Focus

Joint U.S.-Soviet Space Mission

Technical and Political Purposes of Apollo-Soyuz

Shortly after noon (EDT) on Thursday, July 17, about 135 miles above Europe, a silver, bullet-shaped American Apollo spacecraft will maneuver slowly toward a green and white Russian Soyuz capsule with a bulbous nose and a pair of wings. The Apollo will push a black docking module toward the Soyuz and a metal ring will lock into a series of latching devices and pressure seals. After docking is completed, a hatch will open to permit Apollo astronauts Thomas P. Stafford and Donald K. (Deke) Slayton, weightless in space, to crawl into the docking module, while Vance D. Brand remains behind in the Apollo command module.

Sometime after 3 p.m., the Soyuz hatch will open and Stafford will reach out to shake the hands of Russian cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov and Valeriy N. Kubasov. Their historic handshakes will be shown live to a worldwide television audience. People around the world will also hear the astronauts address the cosmonauts in their native language and vice versa—“language of the listener” is the rule for the mission. The crews will exchange flags and sign a joint flight certificate. Later, the Russians will serve their American guests a luncheon of sour cabbage soup, jellied tongue, dried fish, rye bread, cream cheese with black currant jam, honey cakes, prunes with nuts, tea and candy—all from aluminum tubes and tin cans.

Thus will begin the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (Astp)—the first international manned space flight in history—if all goes according to schedule. It is an undertaking which many believe will open a new era of international cooperation in space. If humanity is ever to venture out through the solar system into the galaxy and beyond, it clearly must be a combined effort of more than one nation. “Somewhere along the line in space programs, we have to start doing a lot of work with other countries, basically to economize,” astronaut Vance Brand said recently.“Fifty years from now, undoubtedly, we'll be doing really great things. I think that it's important that we make this first step in cooperation.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Space Exploration
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Feb. 24, 2012  Space Program
Aug. 16, 2011  Weapons in Space
Oct. 16, 2009  Human Spaceflight
May 23, 2003  NASA's Future
Jul. 23, 1999  New Challenges in Space
Apr. 25, 1997  Space Program's Future
Dec. 24, 1993  Space Program's Future
Mar. 29, 1991  Uncertain Future for Man in Space
Jul. 31, 1987  Space Race
Feb. 07, 1986  Space Decisions after Challenger
Feb. 18, 1983  American Options in Space
Nov. 10, 1978  Changing U.S. Space Policy
Jul. 04, 1975  Cooperation in Space
Mar. 15, 1972  Space Shuttle Controversy
Oct. 01, 1969  Mission to Mars: Benefits Vs. Costs
Nov. 13, 1968  Goals in Space
Jun. 29, 1966  Future of Space Exploration
May 08, 1963  Moon Race Controversy
Jun. 27, 1962  Peaceful Use of Outer Space
Nov. 01, 1961  Space Exploration
Dec. 09, 1959  National Space Policy
Feb. 19, 1958  Control of Outer Space
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union
Space Sciences and Exploration
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