The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project


Saturn IB - Apollo   flight configuration
Launch vehicle SA-210 for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

Liftoff of Soviet Soyuz vehicle from Baykonur Cosmodrome in Kazahstan;
July 15, 1975
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

ASTP at ignition on Pad 39B; July 15, 1975
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

View from Soyuz of Apollo CSM with docking adapter


View of Soviet Soyuz spacecraft from Apollo CM

credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project:   Time for collaboration

After several moonlanding missions there was no doubt about who has won the Space Race. That fact initiate a climate change in which rivalry between the Soviet Union and the USA became somewhat subdued. Opportnities could be created for collaboration between the two superpowers.

Manned Space programs are very expensive, so joining efforts to save costs and to become more efficient, seems to be a logical step ahead. Furthermore, accidents in space like the Apollo 13 and the Soyuz ... flight had made it clear that it became important that the USSR and the USA would be able to launch mutual rescue missions. The ASTP was meant to make spacecraft systems from both countries mutual adaptable. The docking systems were the most visible parts to meet the requirements of compatability .
The SA-210 has been used to bring an Apollo spacecraft for the ASTP mission into orbit. The docking adapter with additional life support systems and lock chamber to overcome the differences in cabin air between the crew compartiments, was secured inside the SLA during launch. The docking adapter was attached to the CSM after an extraction procedure similar to the one which was used to extract the lunar module from the S-IVB stage on one of the lunar missions. The docking adapter was equipped with a newly developed symmetrical genderless docking system. It meant that it could dock with an exact copy of itself, which was not the case with the Apollo docking system.
After some manoeuvering, the Apollo spacecraft, with the docking adapter attached to it, docked with an Soyuz spacecraft which was launched a few days earlier and was already equipped with the new docking system.


SA-210 in detail

thumbnail picture of drawing of SA-210




R-7 booster in detail

thumbnail picture of drawing of R-7



Gallery of Saturn Launch Vehicles
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Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
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Copyright 2005 by Sander Panhuyzen
Comments and questions are welcome. All pictures and drawings contained on and through these pages are the author's, unless otherwise noted. No unauthorized reproduction without permission.