Space Is Our Common Home

Space Is Our Common Home

Photo: http://www.kosmo-museum.ru

Recently, an exhibition titled “For the sake of peace and progress!” has been opened in the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. It commemorates the 45th anniversary of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP,) the first U.S.-Soviet joint space venture. The exhibition introduces the history of international cooperation in the exploration of near-Earth space.

The exhibition presents items from the depositaries of the Museum of Cosmonautics and the documents from the Russian State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation.

Visitors have a chance to see the artifacts related to the flight of the USSR and US spacecraft under the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project. There are authentic items from the mission, historical photographs, newspapers, commemorative medals, mission chevrons, applied art objects, as well as space posters dedicated to the Intercosmos program – the space program designed to help the Soviet Union's allies with manned and unmanned space missions. In addition, the display presents photos from the First World Exhibition of Interplanetary Spacecrafts and Mechanisms, held in Moscow in 1927, as well as a portrait sculpture of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the first exhibit that the Museum of Cosmonautics entered in its collection register.

Alexey Leonov and Valery Kubasov before boarding the Soyuz-19 spacecraft. Baikonur. July 15, 1975. In his left hand A.Leonov keeps onboard instructions that can be seen at the exhibition. Photo by A.Pushkaryov. From the holdings of the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.

“Space exploration is possible only in partnership and with the help of joint efforts of all countries,” Natalia Artyukhina, the museum director, said in an interview with wek.ru. “We hold regular meetings with astronauts from all over the world. We are glad to highlight international projects at exhibitions and in the permanent exposition of the museum. That is why I would like to draw the visitors' attention to the exhibits of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project from the permanent exposition. It includes flight clothing of space crews, items that were onboard and the androgynous peripheral docking system of the Soyuz spacecraft (APAS), which was developed specially for this flight. Visitors will have a chance to take photos sitting on the bench with space symbols on it. It was donated to the museum to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project by astronaut Thomas Stafford, the commander of the US spacecraft.”

The second version of the logo for the ASTP project

Made by R. McCall

Created on the basis of the painting ‘Meeting in Space’ by astronaut A.Leonov. The USSR, 1973. From the holdings of the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.

The exhibition “For the sake of peace and progress!” consists of three sections – the First World Exhibition of Interplanetary Spacecrafts and Mechanisms in 1927, the Intercosmos program, and the Apollo–Soyuz experimental flight.

The First World Exhibition of Interplanetary Spacecraft and Mechanisms became the first experience of international cooperation. It was held in Moscow in 1927. At this exhibition, inventors from different countries shared their experience in designing equipment for flights to distant worlds. Mostly, the ideas seemed sci-fi-esque, but just 30 years later, the first artificial satellite heralded the space era. The issue of space exploration by joint efforts of different countries for the benefit of all humanity was put on the agenda. The photographs of the First World Exhibition of Interplanetary Spacecrafts and Mechanisms became the main exhibits.

The Intercosmos program brought together scientists from the USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Cuba, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Vietnam. The flight of astronauts from these countries on Soviet spacecraft was the highlight of the program. In total, the citizens of nine Soviet bloc countries worked upon it from 1977 to 1982. Later, the scientists from France, India, Syria and Afghanistan joined this program. The posters from different countries, medals and mission patches are main exhibits there.

The first international docking mission under the Soyuz-Apollo Test Project was of high historic significance. The joint flight showed that cooperation between the USSR and the US in the segment of space exploration can be effective and fruitful. The legendary handshake in orbit in July 1975 laid a secure foundation for joint work on the International Space Station in the 21st century.

Onboard instructions for joint operations of the Soyuz-Apollo spacecraft. Book No. 2 (transfers). 1975. From the holdings of the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.

Visitors of the exhibition will get familiarized with unique exhibits of that memorable docking. These are, for example, ‘Onboard instructions on joint operations. Book No. 2 (transfers)’, a sky rocket from the ground emergency kit, a part of the spaceship's standard set, with the autograph of Alexey Leonov, twice Hero of the Soviet Union and the USSR pilot astronaut. In addition, there is the transition cable from the transmitter of the Soyuz-19 spaceship. It was used during the Apollo–Soyuz experimental flight. For the first time a fragment of the burned polyethylene-terephthalate shell, removed from the outer surface of the US Apollo ship will be presented to the public. It was given as a gift to the museum by US astronaut Thomas Stafford.

Sky rocket and ammunition box from the standard astronaut kit from the Soyuz-19 ship. With an autograph of astronaut A. Leonov. The USSR, 1975. From the holdings of the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.

Memorabilia with a fragment of the burned polyethylene-terephthalate shell, removed from the outer surface of the US Apollo ship. Donated to the Museum of Cosmonautics by astronaut Thomas Stafford in 2015. From the holdings of the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.

The exhibition will run until September 6, 2020.

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