Apollo-Soyuz Mission (1975)
The Apollo-Soyuz mission, also called Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), was the first joint flight between United States and the Soviet Union. As a cooperation mission was a symbol of the improved international relations between the two superpowers. The spacecraft took off separately and once docked in orbit, the astronauts were able to move from one ship to the other and shook hands as a symbol of friendship and cooperation. The misión also allowed the astronauts to conduct scientific experiments that included the artificial eclipse of the Sun by the Apollo spacecraft to photograph the solar corona from the Soyuz.
This project includes 3 parts:
1.- The Saturn IB launch vehicle (449 bricks)
2.- The Soyuz-U launch vehicle (250 bricks)
3.- The Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft docked (35 bricks)
Total bricks: 734
The Saturn IB launch vehicle was smaller than the Saturn V (used in the moon missions of the Apollo Program), because was designed to reach only the low Earth orbit (LEO). The Saturn IB had 2 stages, a lenght of 68 m and a mass of 589,770 kg. The payload to LEO was 15,300 kg.
The Soyuz-U launch vehicle was an improved version of the original Soyuz LV. The Soyuz U had 4 boosters and 2 stages. The Soyuz-U had a height of 51.1 m, and a mass of 313,000 kg. The payload to LEO was 6,900 kg. The russian word “Soyuz” means “Union”.
The Apollo and the Soyuz flights launched within seven hours of each other on July 15 1975, and docked on July 17. While the two ships were docked (almost 2 days) the three astronauts of Apollo (Stafford, Brand and Slayton) and the two cosmonauts of the Soyuz (Leonov and Kubasov) conducted scientific experiments, exchanges gifts, visit each other´s ships and ate together. They also practiced docking and redocking maneuvers. The mission provided useful engineering experience for future joint US-Russian space flights, such the Shuttle-Mir and the International Space Station.
The mission was a great success, both technically and international relations, and is a symbol of international cooperation and the peaceful exploration of space.
I hope you enjoy this project, if you like it, please support Apollo-Soyuz mission