ISBN 13 9781896522630 - 292 PAGES
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ASTP: The NASA Mission Reports
by Dwight Steven Boniecki
For most people living in the era of early space exploration the notion that the Soviet Union and the United States of America might stage a joint mission into space seemed a very remote possibility. Low Earth orbit had become the latest frontier in a contest of civilizations and it seemed more likely that rockets might end the world. Then something extraordinary happened. 1969 was the year of the first moon landing but just before that epic day in July a Hollywood motion picture named “Marooned” depicted a Soviet cosmonaut coming to the rescue of a crew of stranded Americans in orbit. It seemed incredible to many, including the Soviets, who could scarcely believe that the mighty Hollywood movie machine would portray them in such a favourable light.
Just six years later the final Apollo spacecraft soared into orbit carrying the last of the Mercury 7 astronauts, Donald “Deke” Slayton, along with veteran Thomas Stafford and newcomer Vance Brand. Their mission was to meet with their Soviet counterparts Alexei Leonov and Valery Kubasov and dock their Apollo to the Soyuz 19 spacecraft using a unique custom-built docking module. The symbolic handshake in space would resonate down the ages. The success of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the most highly visible sign of a possible détente in the Cold War since its inception almost three decades earlier. It was also the beginning of cooperation between the world’s top space-faring nations which continues to this day in the form of the International Space Station. After several days in orbit and two dockings the crews of Apollo-Soyuz returned home to a new era of international cooperation in space. The Apollo program was concluded, Americans would not return to space for nearly six years, but the Soyuz program had only just begun.Included with this book is a DVD featuring rare high quality video of the ASTP mission, including the famous handshake, both dockings, both launches, suit-up, the ASTP Inflight Press Conference, and much more!