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Soyuz Apollo Test Project
Zarya - Soviet, Russian and International Spaceflight
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Soyuz Apollo Test Project


Tyneside, UK
2019 Jun 24
Monday, Day 175

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Elsewhere:

The Partnership: A History of the Apollo Soyuz Test Project

Press Kit (PDF Download)

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A Multitude Of Missions

Apollo-Soyuz was the first time that spacefarers of two nations shared a spacecraft in orbit. The plan was hatched under the presidencies of Nixon and Brezhnev and aimed at docking together a Soviet and and American spacecraft, and for the crews to visit each other. It was to be nearly two decades before another similar mission was undertaken, with the coming together of the Russian Mir space station and the US space shuttle.

ASTP crewIn order to undertake the ASTP mission, the Soviet Union had to make considerable modifications to the standard Soyuz design. For the Apollo side of the mission, the difference in spacecraft atmospheres, for example was handled by building a special Docking Module to fit between the two craft. Soyuz had to operate with a lower than usual internal atmospheric pressure and the vehicle had to be fitted with a new docking unit. Apollo on the other hand required no such changes and it operated in essentially the same mode as it had for flights to the Moon and Skylab. It used the same internal atmosphere plus the standard lunar docking system. The specially-designed ASTP docking collar was fitted to the 'Soyuz end' of the Docking Module.

To ensure that ASTP flight went smoothly, the Soviet Union undertook a series of Soyuz missions with and without crews aboard in order to test and perfect the new systems.


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