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A Permanent Presence in Space

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In July 1975 two manned spacecraft were launched into Earth orbit--one from Kazakstan, the other from Florida. Their rendezvous in orbit fulfilled a 1972 agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States to participate in a joint venture in space. Apollo-Soyuz on display in Space Race gallery.
SI#: 97-15880-1
ASTP logo
102 k jpeg
NASA#: 74-HC-121
The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project marked a brief thaw in the Cold War and the first time that the two rivals cooperated in a manned space mission. Engineering teams from both sides collaborated in the development of a docking module to link the spacecraft. Control centers in Moscow and Houston exercised joint duties through a cooperative exchange of tracking data and communications. The crews visited each other's spacecraft, shared meals, and worked on various tasks during several days together in space.

Apollo commander Thomas P. Stafford (right) and Soyuz-19 commander Aleksei A. Leonov (left) greet each other for the first time in space with a handshake. This mission was meant to symbolize the end of competition and the beginning of an era of cooperation in space.
ASTP handshake
76 k jpeg
NASA#: 75-HC-489

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