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Apollo - Soyuz Crew Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

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The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) was a historic, collaborative mission between the United States and the Soviet Union, marking the first international human-crewed flight. Launched on July 15, 1975, the mission symbolized the easing Cold War tensions between the two superpowers.

The American Apollo crew consisted of three astronauts: Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, and Donald K. "Deke" Slayton. Stafford, the commander, was a veteran astronaut with three previous space flights. Brand, the command module pilot, was on his first space flight, while Slayton, the docking module pilot, was a Mercury astronaut finally getting a chance to fly after being grounded for medical reasons in the early 1960s. The Soviet Soyuz crew was comprised of two cosmonauts: Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov. Leonov, the commander, was renowned as the first human to conduct a spacewalk, and Kubasov, the flight engineer, had previous spaceflight experience on Soyuz 6.

The primary objective of the mission was to test the compatibility of rendezvous and docking systems for American and Soviet spacecraft and to open the way for international space rescue as well as future joint manned flights. The mission was successful, and the two craft remained docked for 44 hours, allowing the astronauts and cosmonauts to conduct experiments and make televised visits to each other's craft.

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