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APOLLO - SOYUZ

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Published on Nov 16, 2012

For the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), the United States used an Apollo Command and Service Module (CSM) modified to provide for experiments to be conducted during the mission, extra propellant tanks and the addition of controls and equipment related to the Docking Module. Launch was accomplished with a Saturn IB.
The Docking Module was designed jointly by the United States and Soviet Union, and built in the United States. Its purpose was to enable a docking between the dissimilar Soyuz spacecraft and the U.S. Apollo. It was a three meter long cylinder 1.5 meters in diameter, and in addition to serving as a docking device, also served as an airlock module between the different atmospheres of the two ships (the U.S. ship with 100% oxygen at 260 millimeters of mercury; the Soyuz with a mixed oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere at 520 mm HG--lowered from its usual 760 mm Hg for this mission).
Prior to the conduct of ASTP, the astronauts and cosmonauts visited each other's space centers and became familiar with the spacecraft of the other country. The first visit was by the Russians to Johnson Space Center in July 1973, followed by a U.S. visit to Moscow in November 1973. In late April and early May 1974, the Russian flight crews returned to Johnson Space Center, and the U.S. crews went to Moscow in June and July 1974. The Russian crew made a third trip to the United States in September 1973 and came for the fourth and last time in February 1975. The U.S. crew visited the Soviet Union in late April and early May 1975 and became the first Americans to see the Russian launch facilities at Tyuratam on April 28, 1975.
Three simulation sessions were conducted between flight controllers and the ASTP crew in Houston and Moscow on May 13, 15 and 18, 1975 involving communications links between the two control centers, and fully occupied control center facilities. A final simulation was conducted from June 30-July 1, 1975. Additionally, in December 1974, the Russians made a human flight of the modified version of the Soyuz spaceship for system tests (Soyuz 16).
One of the most difficult problems to overcome was that of language differences. To alleviate this problem as much as possible, the Americans learned Russian and the Russians learned English. It was found that the best scenario was for the Russians to speak English and for the Americans to speak Russian
Soyuz Launch: Soyuz 19, carrying cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov and Valery N. Kubasov, was launched into sunny skies from Baykonur Cosmodrome at 5:20 pm local time (8:20 am EDT) July 15, 1975. The spacecraft entered orbit with a 221.9-km apogee, 186.3-km perigee, 88.5-min period, and 51.8 inclination.
Foreign correspondents, barred from the launch site, watched the launch on color TV sets in a Moscow press center. The first Soviet launch to be televised live, it was transmitted to viewers throughout the Soviet Union, the U.S., and eastern and western Europe. President Ford watched from a U.S. State Dept. auditorium with Soviet Ambassador to the U.S, Anatoly P. Dobrynin and NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher, before Dr. Fletcher and Ambassador Dobrynin flew to Kennedy Space Center to watch the Apollo launch.

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