Apollo–Soyuz Test Project

The Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) (Russian: Экспериментальный полёт «Аполлон» – «Союз» (ЭПАС), Eksperimentalniy polyot Apollon-Soyuz, lit. "Experimental flight Apollo-Soyuz", commonly referred to by the Soviets as Soyuz-Apollo), conducted in July 1975, was the first joint U.S.–Soviet space flight, as a symbol of the policy of détente that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time. It involved the docking of an Apollo Command/Service Module and the Soviet Soyuz 19 capsule. The unnumbered Apollo vehicle was a surplus from the terminated Apollo program and the last one to fly. This mission ceremoniously marked the end of the Space Race that had begun in 1957 with the Sputnik launch.[1]

The mission included both joint and separate scientific experiments (including an engineered eclipse of the Sun by Apollo to allow Soyuz to take photographs of the solar corona), and provided useful engineering experience for future joint US–Russian space flights, such as the Shuttle–Mir Program and the International Space Station.

ASTP was the last manned US space mission until the first Space Shuttle flight in April 1981. It was U.S. astronaut Donald "Deke" Slayton's only space flight. He was chosen as one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts in April 1959, but had been grounded until 1972 for medical reasons. It was the last space mission for Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, who had become the first person to walk in space during the March, 1965, Voskhod 2 mission.

Apollo–Soyuz Test Project
Painting of crew, spacecraft, and launch rockets
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project commemorative painting, 1975
Mission typeCooperative/scientific
  • Soyuz: 8030
  • Apollo: 8032
Mission duration
  • Soyuz: 5 d 22 h 30 m
  • Apollo: 9 d 01 h 28 min
Orbits completed
  • Apollo: 148
  • Soyuz: 96
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type
  • Apollo: Block II Apollo CSM and Apollo Docking Module
  • Soyuz: Soyuz 7K-TM
Launch mass
  • Apollo: 14,768 kg (32,558 lb)
  • Docking Module: 2,012 kg (4,436 lb)
  • Soyuz: 6,790 kg (14,970 lb)
Crew size
  • Apollo: 3
  • Soyuz: 2
  • Apollo
  • Союз (Soyuz – "Union")
Start of mission
Launch date
  • Soyuz: 12:20:00, July 15, 1975 (UTC)
  • Apollo: 19:50:00, July 15, 1975 (UTC)
Launch site
End of mission
Recovered by
Landing date
  • Soyuz: 10:50:00, July 21, 1975 (UTC)
  • Apollo: 21:18:00, July 24, 1975 (UTC)
Landing site
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee217 km (135 mi)
Apogee231 km (144 mi)
Period88.91 minutes
Docking dateFirst: 16:19:09, July 17, 1975 (UTC)
Undocking dateLast: 15:26:12, July 19, 1975 (UTC)
Time docked1 day, 23 hours, 07 min, 03 sec
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project patch

Official emblem of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) chosen by NASA and the Soviet Academy of Sciences
Portrait of ASTP crews - restoration

Historical background

Nixon Kosygin May 1972
U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin (seated) sign an agreement paving the way for the Apollo–Soyuz flight, May 1972.

The purpose and catalyst of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project was the policy of détente between the two Cold War superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. Prior to this mission, tensions remained high between the two world superpowers while the United States was engaged in the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, the Soviet press was highly critical of the Apollo space missions, printing "the armed intrusion of the United States and Saigon puppets into Laos is a shameless trampling underfoot of international law" over a photograph of the Apollo 14 launch in 1971.[2] Although Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev made the Soviet Union's policy of détente official in his 1956 doctrine of peaceful coexistence at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the two nations seemed to be in perpetual conflict.

After John Glenn's 1962 orbital flight, an exchange of letters between President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev led to a series of discussions led by Dryden and Soviet scientist Anatoli Blagonravov. Their 1962 talks led to the Dryden-Blagonravov agreement, which was formalized in October of that year, the same time the two countries were in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The agreement was formally announced at the United Nations on December 5, 1962. It called for cooperation on the exchange of data from weather satellites, a study of the Earth's magnetic field, and joint tracking of the U.S. Echo II balloon satellite.[3]. Unfortunately, as the competition between the two nation's manned space programs heated up, efforts to further cooperation at that point came to an end.

Due to tense relations, space cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union was unlikely in the early 1970s. On June 7, 1971, the USSR had launched the first piloted orbital space station, Salyut 1. Meanwhile, the United States had launched the Apollo 14 mission several months prior, the third spacecraft to land humans on the Moon. Each side gave the other little coverage of their achievements.[2]

Both sides had severe criticisms of the other side's engineering. Soviet spacecraft were designed with automation in mind; the Lunokhod 1 and Luna 16 were both unmanned probes, and each Soyuz spacecraft had been designed to minimize risk due to human error by having fewer manual controls with which human operators would have to contend during flight. By contrast, the Apollo spacecraft was designed to be operated by humans and required highly trained astronauts in order to operate. The Soviet Union criticized the Apollo spacecraft as being "extremely complex and dangerous".[2]

The Americans also had their own concerns about Soviet spacecraft. Christopher C. Kraft, director of the Manned Spacecraft Center, criticized the design of the Soyuz: "We in NASA rely on redundant components—if an instrument fails during flight, our crews switch to another in an attempt to continue the mission. Each Soyuz component, however, is designed for a specific function; if one fails, the cosmonauts land as soon as possible. The Apollo vehicle also relied on astronaut piloting to a much greater extent than did the Soyuz machine".[4] American and Soviet engineers already settled their differences for a possible docking of American and Soviet spacecraft in meetings between June and December 1971 in Houston and Moscow, including Bill Creasy's design of the Androgynous Peripheral Attach System between the two ships that would allow either to be active or passive during docking.[5]

With the close of the Vietnam War, relations between the United States and the USSR began to improve, as did the prognosis for a potential cooperative space mission.[2] The Apollo–Soyuz Test Project was made possible by the thaw in these relations, and the project itself endeavored to amplify and solidify the improving relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. According to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, "The Soviet and American spacemen will go up into outer space for the first major joint scientific experiment in the history of mankind. They know that from outer space our planet looks even more beautiful. It is big enough for us to live peacefully on it, but it is too small to be threatened by nuclear war".[2] Thus, both sides recognized ASTP as a political act of peace.[5]

In October 1970, Soviet Academy of Sciences president Mstislav Keldysh responded to NASA Administrator Thomas O. Paine's letter proposing a cooperative space mission, and there was subsequently a meeting to discuss technical details. At a meeting in January 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon's Foreign Policy Adviser Henry Kissinger enthusiastically espoused plans for the mission, and expressed these views to NASA administrator George M. Low: "As long as you stick to space, do anything you want to do. You are free to commit—in fact, I want you to tell your counterparts in Moscow that the President has sent you on this mission."[6] By April 1972, both the United States and the USSR signed an Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes,[7] committing both the USSR and the United States to the launch of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project in 1975.[8]

ASTP was particularly significant for the USSR's policy of keeping the details of their space program secret from the Soviet people and the world at large, especially Americans. The ASTP was the first Soviet space mission to be televised in a live fashion during the launch, while in space, and during the landing.[2] Soyuz 19 was also the first Soviet spacecraft to which a foreign flight crew had access before flight; the Apollo crew were permitted to inspect it and the launch and crew training site, which was an unprecedented sharing of information with Americans about any Soviet space program.

Not all reactions to ASTP were positive. Many Americans feared that ASTP was giving the USSR too much credit in their space program, putting them on equal footing with the sophisticated space exploration efforts of NASA. More feared that the apparent peaceful cooperation between the USSR and the United States would lull people into believing there was no conflict at all between the two superpowers.[2] Soliciting appropriations from the United States Congress proved to be quite difficult, which was not a problem in the Soviet Union, and the dedication to space exploration demonstrated by the Soviet Union rejected these criticisms. Some Soviet publicists called American critics of the mission "demagogues who stand against scientific cooperation with the U.S.S.R."[2] In general, tensions between the United States and the USSR had softened, and the project set a precedent for future cooperative projects in space.[7]

Apollo crew

Portrait of the American ASTP prime crewmen
Left to right: Slayton, Brand, Stafford
ASTP patch
American crew insignia for the Apollo/Soyuz mission
Position Astronaut
Commander United States Thomas P. Stafford
Fourth and last spaceflight
Command Module Pilot United States Vance D. Brand
First spaceflight
Docking Module Pilot United States Donald K. "Deke" Slayton
Only spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Commander United States Alan Bean
Command Module Pilot United States Ronald E. Evans
Docking Module Pilot United States Jack R. Lousma

Crew notes

Jack Swigert had originally been assigned as the command module pilot for the ASTP prime crew, but prior to the official announcement he was removed as punishment for his involvement in the Apollo 15 postage stamp incident.[9]

Support crew
Karol J. Bobko, Robert Crippen, Robert F. Overmyer, Richard H. Truly
Flight directors
Pete Frank (Orange team), Neil Hutchinson (Silver team), Don Puddy (Crimson team), Frank Littleton (Amber team)

Soyuz crew

Alexey Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov 1974
Leonov (left) and Kubasov
Position Cosmonaut
Commander Soviet Union Alexei Leonov
Second and last spaceflight
Flight Engineer Soviet Union Valeri Kubasov
Second spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Soviet Union Anatoly Filipchenko
Flight Engineer Soviet Union Nikolay Rukavishnikov

Mission summary


A 1973 artist's conception of the docking of the two spacecraft.
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Saturn IB launch
A Saturn IB launch vehicle lifts the American ASTP crew into orbit.
Soyuz ASTP rocket launch
A Soyuz-U launch vehicle lifts the Soviet crew into orbit.
Soyuz Spacecraft in Orbit - GPN-2002-000155
Soyuz as seen from Apollo CM

The ASTP entailed the docking of an American Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) with a Soviet Soyuz 7K-TM spacecraft. Although the Soyuz was given a mission designation number (Soyuz 19) as part of the ongoing Soyuz program, its radio call sign was simply "Soyuz" for the duration of the joint mission. The Apollo mission was not a numbered mission of the Apollo program, and similarly bore the call sign "Apollo". Despite this, some of the press and a few NASA web pages have referred to the mission as "Apollo 18", but this should not be confused with the canceled lunar mission.[10][11][12][13]

The Apollo spacecraft was launched with a docking module specially designed to enable the two spacecraft to dock with each other, used only once for this mission. The Saturn IB launch vehicle and CSM were surplus material. Like the Apollo Lunar Module, the docking module had to be retrieved from the S-IVB upper-stage of the Saturn rocket after launch. The docking module was designed as both an airlock — as the Apollo was pressurized at about 5 psi (340 mbar) using pure oxygen, while the Soyuz used a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere at sea level pressure (about 15 psi / 1000 mbar) — and an adapter, since the surplus Apollo hardware used for the ASTP mission was not equipped with the APAS docking collar jointly developed by NASA and the Soviet Academy of Sciences for the mission. One end of the docking module was attached to the Apollo using the same "probe-and-drogue" docking mechanism used on the Lunar Module and the Skylab space station, while its other end had the APAS docking collar, which Soyuz 19 carried in place of the standard Soyuz/Salyut system of the time. The APAS collar fitted onto Soyuz 19 was releasable, allowing the two spacecraft to separate in case of malfunction.

The Apollo flew with a three-man crew on board: Tom Stafford, Vance Brand, and Deke Slayton. Stafford had already flown into space three times, including within eight miles of the lunar surface as Commander of Apollo 10, and was the first general officer to fly into space.[14] Slayton was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts selected in 1959, but an irregular heartbeat grounded him until 1972. 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. 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 closest he had come to flying prior to ASTP was as commander for the Skylab Rescue mission mustered to potentially retrieve the crew of Skylab 3 due to a fuel leak on that mission's Apollo CSM.

The Soyuz flew with two men: Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov. Leonov became the first man to walk in space on Voskhod 2 in 1965. Kubasov, who flew on Soyuz 6 in 1969, ran some of the earliest space manufacturing experiments. Both were to have flown on the ill-fated Soyuz 11 in 1971 (Leonov as commander, Kubasov as the flight engineer), but were grounded because Kubasov was suspected of having 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.

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). It was designed to operate, during the docking phase, at a reduced nitrogen/oxygen pressure of 10.2 psi, allowing easier transfers between the Apollo and Soyuz. Six ASTP-class Soyuz spacecraft were built in total, including the one used. 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 in 1976, but with the APAS docking adapter replaced by the MKF-6 multispectral camera.

Launch and mission

Apollo-Soyuz Imagery
The Apollo spacecraft, as seen by the Soyuz crew.
Soyuz 19 (Apollo Soyuz Test Project) spacecraft
Soyuz 19 as seen from the Apollo
Apollo Soyuz Test Project Mission Control
Mission control center in Houston during ASTP.
ASTP handshake - cropped
The historic handshake between Stafford and Leonov
President Ford talks to ASTP crew
U.S. President Gerald Ford speaks to the Soviet and American crews on July 18, 1975.
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Commemorative Plaque
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 17. 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,[15] but a delay resulted in its occurrence being over the city of Metz in France.[16] During the first crew exchange, the crews were read a statement from Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev, and received a phone call from U.S. President Gerald Ford.

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 countries), signed 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.") There were also docking and redocking maneuvers, during which the two spacecraft reversed roles and the Soyuz became the "active" ship.

American scientists developed four of the experiments performed during the mission. Embryologist Jane Oppenheimer analyzed the effects of weightlessness on fish eggs at various stages of development.[17]

After 44 hours together, the two ships separated, and maneuvered to use the Apollo to create an artificial solar eclipse to allow the crew of the Soyuz to take photographs of the solar corona. Another brief docking was made before the ships went their separate ways. The Soviets remained in space for two more days, and the Americans for five, during which the Apollo crew also conducted Earth observation experiments.

Re-entry and aftermath

The mission was considered a great success, both technically and as a public-relations exercise for both nations. The only serious problem was during reentry and splashdown of the Apollo craft, during which the crew were accidentally exposed to toxic hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide fumes, caused by unignited reaction control system (RCS) hypergolic propellants venting from the spacecraft and reentering a cabin air intake. The RCS was inadvertently left on during descent, and the toxic fumes were sucked into the spacecraft as it drew in outside air. Brand briefly lost consciousness, while Stafford retrieved emergency oxygen masks, put one on Brand, and gave one to Slayton. The three astronauts were hospitalized for two weeks in Honolulu.[18] Brand took responsibility for the mishap; because of high noise levels in the cabin during reentry, he believes he was unable to hear Stafford call off one item of the reentry checklist, the closure of two switches which would have automatically shut off the RCS and initiated drogue parachute deployment. These procedures were manually performed later than usual, allowing the ingestion of the propellant fumes through the ventilation system.[19]

The ASTP was the final flight of an Apollo spacecraft. Immediately after the launch of the Apollo spacecraft, preparations began to convert Launch Pad 39B and the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center for use by the Space Shuttle, the United States' next manned spacecraft program. Launch Pad 39A had already been closed after the launch of Skylab.



Apollo-Soyuz painting

A derivative (but mechanically incompatible) docking collar, APAS-89 was launched as part of the Kristall module of the Soviet Mir space station. Originally intended as the docking port for the (defunct) Buran Soviet space shuttle, the APAS-89 unit was used for the next Russian-American docking mission, STS-71, twenty years later as part of the Shuttle–Mir Program (though not before the docking port was tested by the last APAS-equipped Soyuz, TM-16, in 1993).

The American Space Shuttle continued to use the same APAS-89 docking hardware through the end of the Space Shuttle program to dock to Mir and then the International Space Station, the latter through the Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMAs).

The PMAs are equipped with the later APAS-95 adapters, which differ from the APAS-89 adapters in that they are no longer androgynous; while compatible with the APAS-89 docking collars, they are not capable of acting as the "active" partner in docking.

The first PMA, PMA-1, remains in use as the interface connecting the Russian-built, NASA-owned Zarya module to the US segment of the ISS, and so the APAS continues in use to this day.


The Apollo–Soyuz Test Project was the first joint US-Soviet space mission. At the time it was thought that space would become either more international or competitive as a result, however instead it became both. The mission became symbolic of each countries goals of scientific cooperation, while their individual news reports downplayed the technical prowess of the other. Soviet press implied that it was leading the US in space flight, tying it to Marxist ideology, while the US reported that the Soyuz was technically primitive.[20] High-profile space cooperation declined after the successful mission and became entangled in linkage politics, however it set a precedent of cooperation that continued in the Shuttle–Mir Program.[21][22]


The US and Soviet commanders, Stafford and Leonov became lasting friends. Leonov is the godfather of Stafford's younger children.[21][23]

A minor planet, 2228 Soyuz-Apollo, discovered in 1977 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, is named after the mission.[24]

Spacecraft locations

The Apollo Command Module from the mission is on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The descent module of Soyuz 19 is on display at the RKK Energiya museum in Korolyov, Moscow Oblast, Russia.

A display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. shows the docked Apollo/Soyuz configuration with the restored Apollo Command and Service Module used for testing prior to the mission, the back-up Docking Module, and a model of the Soyuz spacecraft. An identical Soyuz model is exhibited at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. A full-size mockup of the two docked spacecraft is located at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The Apollo–Soyuz display in the National Air and Space Museum
The Apollo–Soyuz display in the National Air and Space Museum


1975 CPA 4478
Soyuz–Apollon, Issue of 1975, USSR

The US Postal Service issued the Apollo–Soyuz commemorative stamps, honoring the United States–Soviet link up in space, on July 15, 1975, the day of the launch. The remaining crew's most recent reunion was on July 16, 2010, when Leonov, Kubasov, Stafford, and Brand met at an Omega timepiece store in New York City. All except Leonov participated in a public roundtable that evening. Omega had produced several watches to be used on the mission.[25]

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Flown Silver Robbins Medallion
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Medallion


In the wake of the mission, a large Apollo–Soyuz monument was constructed outside TsUP (the Soviet, later Russian space control center) in Moscow. It consisted of a metal Earth overarched by an arc terminating in a scale model of the joined Apollo–Soyuz spacecraft. It was damaged when a vehicle collided with it in the late 1990s, and was removed for repairs.

Mission Control Centre

The mission control room that hosted the Americans in Korolyov, Russia was preserved in memorial of Apollo-Soyuz.[23]

Program cost

The United States spent $245 million on Apollo–Soyuz, or $1 billion in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars.[26]

In media

  • In the non-canonical Superman #300 comic book, the Apollo–Soyuz astronauts and cosmonauts are the first to spot an unidentified flying object (Kal-El's spacecraft) approaching Earth, then the US and the USSR race to the capsule to take it in their nation.
  • The 2009 film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian features the Apollo–Soyuz display conserved at the National Air & Space Museum.
  • In 2013, the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project was discussed in the pilot episode of the FX show The Americans, with Stafford being portrayed by an extra.
  • The 2017 film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets features the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project in its opening credits, accompanied by David Bowie's "Space Oddity".

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ Samuels, Richard J., ed. (December 21, 2005). Encyclopedia of United States National Security (1st ed.). SAGE Publications. p. 669. ISBN 978-0-7619-2927-7. Most observers felt that the U.S. moon landing ended the space race with a decisive American victory. […] The formal end of the space race occurred with the 1975 joint Apollo-Soyuz mission, in which U.S. and Soviet spacecraft docked, or joined, in orbit while their crews visited one another's craft and performed joint scientific experiments.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Soviet Space Programs, 1971–75. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1976.
  3. ^ "The First Dryden-Blagonravov Agreement - 1962". NASA History Series. NASA. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Ezell, Edward; Ezell, Linda (1978). "Foreword". The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Washington, D.C.: NASA.
  5. ^ a b Debbora Battaglia, "Arresting Hospitality: the Case of the 'Handshake in Space'," Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute vol. 18 issue 1 June 2012. p. S76-S89
  6. ^ Ezell, Edward; Ezell, Linda (1978). "Chapter 5. Proposal for a Test Flight". The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Washington, D.C.: NASA.
  7. ^ a b Jennifer Ross-Nazzal,"Détente on Earth and in Space: The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project," Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, September 2010, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp. 29 – 34.
  8. ^ Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes: Moscow, 24 May 1972. Moscow: NASA, 1972.
  9. ^ Slayton, Donald; Cassutt, Michael (1994). Deke! U.S. Manned Space: From Mercury to the Shuttle. New York: Forge. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0-312-85503-6. LCCN 94-2463. OCLC 29845663.
  10. ^ "Apollo-Soyuz". nasa.gov.
  11. ^ "HEASARC Missions". nasa.gov.
  12. ^ http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/oral_histories/StaffordTP/TPS_BIO.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/oral_histories/BrandVD/BrandVD_Bio.pdf
  14. ^ he was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force at the time of the flight; he would retire with three stars in 1979
  15. ^ Jones, Phillip. "Blast-off to Bognor". Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  16. ^ Edward Clinton Ezell; Linda Neuman Ezell (1978). "The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project". NASA. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  17. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (March 23, 1996). "Jane Oppenheimer Dies at 84; Expert on Embryos and Space" – via NYTimes.com.
  18. ^ Ezell, Edward Clinton; Ezell, Linda Neuman (1978). "The Partnership: A History of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project". NASA History Series. NASA (NASA Special Publication-4209). Archived from the original on August 23, 2007. Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  19. ^ "Brand Takes Blame For Apollo Gas Leak", Florence, AL – Times Daily newspaper, Aug. 10, 1975
  20. ^ U.S.-Soviet Cooperation in Space (PDF) (Report). US Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. July 1985. pp. 80–81. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Kellie Morgan (July 15, 2015). "How historic handshake in space brought superpowers closer". CNN. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  22. ^ James Moltz. The Politics of Space Security: Strategic Restraint and the Pursuit of National Interests. Stanford University Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-8047-7858-9.
  23. ^ a b "Apollo–Soyuz: A cold war handshake in space, 40 years on". New Scientist. July 17, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  24. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 181. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.
  25. ^ First International Space Crew Reunites for Mission's 35th Anniversary. Space.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-04.
  26. ^ Lafleur, Claude (March 8, 2010). "Costs of US piloted programs". The Space Review. Retrieved February 18, 2012.

External links

1975 in spaceflight

In 1975 several notable events happened in spaceflight such as the launch to Mars of the Viking orbiter/landers missions, the joint Apollo–Soyuz Test Project, and the Venera 9 Venus mission.

Viking 1 was launched on 20 August 1975 and Viking 2 was launched 9 September 1975. This orbiter/lander mission was to photograph Mars in detail and to find water and life on the surface.

The Apollo-Soyuz saw an end to the space race with the USA and USSR. The mission was launched between 15 July 1975 and 17 July 1975.

The Venera 9 mission was launched 8 June 1975 was another successful orbiter/lander mission.

2228 Soyuz-Apollo

2228 Soyuz-Apollo, provisional designation 1977 OH, is a carbonaceous Themistian asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 26 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 19 July 1977, by Soviet–Russian astronomer Nikolai Chernykh at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Nauchnyj on the Crimean peninsula. It was named after the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.

Androgynous Peripheral Attach System

The terms Androgynous Peripheral Attach System (APAS), Androgynous Peripheral Assembly System (APAS) and Androgynous Peripheral Docking System (APDS), are used interchangeably to describe a family of spacecraft docking mechanisms, and are also sometimes used as a generic name for any docking system in that family. A system similar to APAS-89/95 is used by the Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft.

Apollo-Soyuz (cigarette)

"Apollo-Soyuz" was a Soviet brand of cigarettes which were manufactured by the "Java Tobacco Factory" in Moscow, Soviet Union and Philip Morris USA in the United States. Today it is owned and manufactured by the Krasnodar Tobacco Factory, a Russian subsidiary of Altria.

Don Puddy

Donald Ray Puddy (May 31, 1937 – November 22, 2004) was a NASA engineer and manager. He joined NASA in 1964, eventually becoming the agency's tenth flight director. His Flight Team colors were Crimson. He served as a flight director during the Apollo 17, Skylab, and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project missions, Skylab, and the first Space Shuttle mission. He earned a number of awards for his service, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.

Kosmos 638

Kosmos 638 (Russian: Космос 638) was an unmanned test of the 1975 Apollo–Soyuz Test Project Soyuz. It carried an APAS-75 androgynous docking system.

This was followed by another unmanned test of this spacecraft type, Kosmos 672. It was a Soyuz 7K-TM spacecraft.When the air was released from the orbital module (which is ejected before re-entry of the capsule) it caused unexpected motions with the spacecraft. This led to the next test also being unmanned.

Kosmos 672

Kosmos 672 (Russian: Космос 672 meaning Cosmos 672) was the second unmanned test of the ASTP Soyuz spacecraft. Also had APAS-75 androgynous docking system.

This was preceded by another unmanned test of this spacecraft type, Kosmos 638. It was a Soyuz 7K-TM spacecraft.

NASA Astronaut Group 2

NASA's Astronaut Group 2, also known as The New Nine, was the second group of astronauts selected by NASA and announced on September 17, 1962. The group was required to augment the original Mercury 7 with the announcement of the Gemini program and leading to the Apollo program. While the Original 7 had been selected to accomplish the simpler task of orbital flight, the new challenges of rendezvous and lunar landing led to the selection of candidates with advanced engineering degrees (for four of the New Nine) as well as test pilot experience. Two of this group (Lovell and Conrad) had been candidates for the original 7, but were not selected then for medical reasons. In addition, Group 2 became the first group with civilian test pilots in the group; See flew for General Electric, while Armstrong flew the X-15 research plane for NASA.

Seven of the nine would receive the Congressional Space Medal of Honor for their service, valor, and sacrifice:

Ed White, killed on Apollo 1;

Frank Borman, for commanding the first manned mission to the Moon (Apollo 8);

Neil Armstrong, for commanding the first lunar landing (Apollo 11);

Jim Lovell, for commanding Apollo 13;

Pete Conrad, for commanding Skylab 2 and saving the damaged station;

Thomas P. Stafford, for commanding the international Cold War Apollo-Soyuz Test Project; and

John Young, for commanding the first Space Shuttle mission, STS-1, in Space Shuttle Columbia.

NASA Astronaut Group 7

Astronaut Group 7, referred to in some documents as the USAF MOL Transfer, was a group of seven astronauts announced by NASA on August 14, 1969, and was the last group to be selected during the Apollo era. After the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) project was cancelled, NASA hired seven of the astronauts selected for that program to form this "Group 7", roughly the younger half of the MOL astronauts. By the time they joined NASA, all Apollo flight assignments had been lined up, but four were given non-flying support assignments for Apollo. Others were also given support assignments for Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, with Bobko and Crippen participating in the Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Test. Group 7 went on to form the core of early Space Shuttle pilots, upgrading to commander after their first flight, flying 17 STS missions between them, plus the Approach and Landing Tests of Enterprise (OV-101).

RKK Energiya museum

The RKK Energiya museum is a museum dedicated to the early achievements of Russian space exploration programmes. It is located on the grounds of the RKK Energiya factory in Korolyov, near Moscow.

Amongst the exhibits are the recovered capsule from the Vostok 1 mission with which Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, the Vostok 6 capsule in which Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, the Voskhod 2 capsule from which the first spacewalk was performed by Aleksei Leonov, the Zond 5 capsule which carried two tortoises around the Moon, and the Soyuz 19 capsule used in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.


The Soyuz-T (Russian: Союз-T, Union-T) spacecraft was the third generation Soyuz spacecraft, in service for seven years from 1979 to 1986. The T stood for transport (транспортный, Transportny). The revised spacecraft incorporated lessons learned from the Apollo Soyuz Test Project, Soyuz 7K-TM and Military Soyuz.

The Soyuz-T was a major upgrade over previous Soyuz spacecraft, sporting solid-state electronics for the first time and a much more advanced onboard computer to help overcome the chronic docking problems that affected cosmonauts during space station missions. In addition, solar panels returned, allowing the Soyuz-T to fly up to 11 days independently as well as a redesigned propulsion system, the KTDU-426. Finally, it could at last carry three cosmonauts with pressure suits.

Soyuz 22

Soyuz 22 (Russian: Союз 22, Union 22) was a 1976 Soviet manned spaceflight. It was an Earth-sciences mission using a modified Soyuz spacecraft, and was also, some observers speculated, a mission to observe NATO exercises near Norway.

The spacecraft was a refurbished Soyuz that had served as a backup for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission the previous year.

Cosmonauts Valery Bykovsky and Vladimir Aksyonov spent a week in orbit photographing the surface of the Earth with a specially-built camera.

Soyuz 7K-TM

The 1975 Apollo–Soyuz Test Project version of the Soyuz spacecraft (Soyuz 7K-TM) served as a technological bridge to the third generation Soyuz-T (T - транспортный, Transportnyi meaning transport) spacecraft (1976–1986).

The Soyuz ASTP spacecraft was designed for use during the Apollo Soyuz Test Project as Soyuz 19. It featured design changes to increase compatibility with the American craft. The Soyuz ASTP featured new solar panels for increased mission length, an APAS-75 docking mechanism instead of the standard male mechanism and modifications to the environmental control system to lower the cabin pressure to 0.68 atmospheres (69 kPa) prior to docking with Apollo. The ASTP Soyuz backup craft flew as the Soyuz 22 mission, replacing the docking port with a camera.

Soyuz 7K-T No.39

Soyuz 7K-T No.39, (also named Soyuz 18a or Soyuz 18-1 by some sources and also known as the April 5 Anomaly) was an unsuccessful launch of a manned Soyuz spacecraft by the Soviet Union in 1975. The mission was expected to dock with the orbiting Salyut 4 space station, but due to a failure of the Soyuz launch vehicle the crew failed to make orbit. The crew consisted of commander Vasily Lazarev, and flight engineer Oleg Makarov, a civilian. Although the mission was aborted and did not accomplish its objective, the craft exceeded the Karman line altitude of 100 kilometers and therefore reached a suborbital spaceflight, which the crew survived. The crew, who initially feared they had landed in China, were successfully recovered.The accident was partly disclosed by the normally secretive Soviets as it occurred during preparations for their joint Apollo-Soyuz Test Project with the United States which flew three months later. Lazarev never flew to space again and never fully recovered from the accident; Makarov made two more flights on board a Soyuz (both of which were to the Salyut 6 space station).

Soyuz TMA-05M

Soyuz TMA-05M is the 114th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft. It was launched on 15 July 2012, transporting three members of the Expedition 32 crew to the International Space Station (ISS). The Soyuz remained docked to the ISS throughout the mission to serve as an emergency escape vehicle. The launch also coincided with the 37th anniversary of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project. Soyuz TMA-05M successfully returned to Earth on 19 November 2012.

Thomas P. Stafford

Thomas Patten Stafford (born September 17, 1930; Lt Gen, USAF, Ret.) is an American former Air Force officer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut.

After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, Stafford commissioned in the United States Air Force, flying the F-86 Sabre prior becoming a test pilot. He was selected to become an astronaut in 1962, and flew aboard Gemini 6A and Gemini 9. In 1969, Stafford was the Commander of Apollo 10, the second manned mission to orbit the Moon and the first to fly a Lunar Module in lunar orbit, descending to an altitude of nine miles.

In 1975, Stafford was the commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flight, the first joint U.S.-Soviet space mission. Stafford was a brigadier general at the time of the mission, becoming the first general officer to fly in space, as well as the first member of his Naval Academy class to pin on the first, second, and third stars of a general officer. He made six rendezvous in space and logged 507 hours of space flight. He has flown over 120 different types of fixed wing and rotary aircraft and three different types of spacecraft.

Transposition, docking, and extraction

Transposition, docking, and extraction (often abbreviated to transposition and docking) was a maneuver performed during manned Apollo program missions from 1969 to 1972, and the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission in 1975. It involved an astronaut separating the Apollo command and service module (CSM) spacecraft from the adapter which fastened it to its launch vehicle upper stage, turning it around, and docking its nose to the lunar module (LM) (or in the case of ASTP, to a special docking module which enabled docking with the Soyuz spacecraft), then pulling the combined spacecraft away from the upper stage. On the Apollo lunar missions, it was performed shortly after the trans-lunar injection maneuver that placed the Apollo spacecraft on a trajectory towards the Moon, about three days before arrival there.

Valeri Kubasov

Valeri Nikolayevich Kubasov (Russian: Вале́рий Никола́евич Куба́сов; 7 January 1935 – 19 February 2014) was a Soviet/Russian cosmonaut who flew on two missions in the Soyuz programme as a flight engineer: Soyuz 6 and Soyuz 19 (the Apollo–Soyuz mission), and commanded Soyuz 36 in the Intercosmos programme. On 21 July 1975, the Soyuz 7K-TM module used for ASTP landed in Kazakhstan at 5:51 p.m. and Kubasov was the first to exit the craft. Kubasov performed the first welding experiments in space, along with Georgy Shonin.

Kubasov was also involved in the development of the Mir space station. He retired from the Russian space program in November 1993 and was later deputy director of RKK Energia.

Kubasov evaded death twice during his space career. He was part of the crew that was originally intended to fly Soyuz 2, which was found to have the same faulty parachute sensor that resulted in Vladimir Komarov's death on Soyuz 1 and was later launched without a crew. Later, he was grounded for medical reasons before the Soyuz 11 flight, which killed the crew when the capsule was accidentally depressurised by a faulty valve.

Vance D. Brand

Vance DeVoe Brand (born May 9, 1931) is an American former naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. He served as command module pilot during the first U.S.-Soviet joint spaceflight in 1975, and as commander of three Space Shuttle missions.

His flight experience includes 9,669 flying hours, which includes 8,089 hours in jets, 391 hours in helicopters, 746 hours in spacecraft, and checkout in more than 30 types of military aircraft.

Main topics
Past missions
(by spacecraft type)
Current missions
Future missions
Missions and tests of the Apollo program
Rocket tests
Abort tests
Boilerplate tests
Unmanned missions
Low Earth orbit missions
Lunar orbit missions
Lunar landing missions
Failed missions
In development
Policy and history
Robotic programs
Human spaceflight
Individual featured
(human and robotic)
and navigation
NASA lists
NASA images
and artwork

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.