July 15, 2020
Categories: History, Russia, Soyuz, Space, USA

45 years ago, on July 15, 1975, the first joint space flight of representatives of different countries started in the history of mankind. The start of the Soyuz Apollo pilot project was laid on October 26-27, 1970. At this time, Moscow hosted the first meeting of Soviet and American experts on the compatibility of the means of approaching and docking of manned spacecraft.

Two years later, in Moscow, an Agreement was signed between the USSR and the USA on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, which provided for the docking of the Soviet manned spacecraft Soyuz and the American spacecraft Apollo in open space with the mutual passage of astronauts.

On December 2-8, 1974, in accordance with the Soviet program for preparing for a joint space experiment, the flight of the modernized Soyuz-16 spacecraft was completed. During this flight, tests were carried out of the life support system, tests of the automatic system and individual components of the docking unit, development of the methodology for performing some joint scientific experiments and unilateral experiments, the formation of the installation orbits with a height of 225 km and others.

And so, on July 15, 1975 at 15 hours 20 minutes from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the Soyuz-19 spacecraft launched with astronauts Alexei Leonov and Valery Kubasov. Seven and a half hours later, American Apollo took off from Cape Canaveral, the crew of which included American astronauts Thomas Stafford, Donald Slayton and Vance Brand. On July 17, the ships docked, becoming the prototype of the future International Space Station. During the flight, four transitions of crew members between both ships were carried out. Cosmonauts and astronauts got acquainted with the equipment of the spaceships, communicated, conducted space experiments and devoted much time to television broadcasts on Earth. Tests of the life support system, tests of the automatic system and individual components of the docking assembly were carried out.

July 19, 1975 the ships undocked. The flight phase in the coupled state lasted 43 hours 54 minutes 11 seconds. Then the Apollo moved 200 meters from the Soyuz-19. After the “Artificial Solar Eclipse” experiment, the spacecraft came closer together again. The second docking took place, during which the docking assembly of the Soyuz-19 was active. After all the checks, the divergence of the spacecraft began. The second time the ships were docked, they were two hours 52 minutes 33 seconds. The Soviet astronauts returned to Earth on July 21, 1975: the Soyuz-19 spacecraft landed a soft landing near the city of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan (total flight time – 5 days 22 hours 31 minutes). The Apollo command module with astronauts splashed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, after conducting experiments on the American program in independent flight (9 days 1 hour 28 minutes).

The experience of the successful implementation of the Soyuz-Apollo program served as a good basis for subsequent international space flights under the joint Mir-Shuttle program, in which Russian astronauts and cargo were put into orbit by shuttles, and American astronauts carried out expeditions to the orbital station “Mir”, as well as for the creation with the participation of many states of the world and the joint operation of the International Space Station.

More from this category:
July 4, 2014

Space debris damaged ISS refrigeration system placed on cross truss of American segment. The cosmonauts made shots of the ISS outer surface for  ground-based services…

full story
June 7, 2016

On June 6, 2016,  Roscosmos State Commission meeting discussed Soyuz MS manned spacecraft and Progress MS-03 cargo vehicle prelaunch preparations and Soyuz TMA-19M landing issues….

full story
September 12, 2014

Today, on September 12, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre charters brought main and back-up crew of Soyuz TMA-14M manned spacecraft to Baikonur spaceport.  Roscosmos, Yuzny space…

full story
February 28, 2022

On Friday, February 25, 2022, a meeting of the Interagency Commission took place at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, summing up the readiness for a…

full story
August 31, 2020

Training in the TBK-50 pressure chamber allows cosmonauts to develop the skill of assessing the fit of a spacesuit, evaluate the work of the thermal…

full story
December 15, 2014

On Monday Soyuz-ST booster was rolled-out to the launchpad of Kurou spaceport, – Roscosmos press-office reports. “On December 15, 2014, in accordance with the decision…

full story
August 16, 2013

Green Bank observatory antenna received the data from Russian Radiastron (Spektr-R) space telescope for the first time. This new tracking station in other hemisphere enables…

full story
July 26, 2013

RIA Novosti – Fragments of Russia’s Progress M-18M space freighter sunk safely in the Pacific Ocean after re-entering the atmosphere on Friday, a spokesman for…

full story