Thirty-five years ago today — July 15, 1975 — the two spacecraft of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project were launched.

(Soyuz spacecraft, as seen from the Apollo spacecraft. NASA image. A higher-resolution image is available here.)

The Soviet Union launched Soyuz-19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying cosmonauts Alexei A. Leonov and Valeri N. Kubasov.

The USA launched its ASTP contribution from Cape Canaveral atop a Saturn-1B launch vehicle. Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, and Donald K. Slayton docked with Soyuz-19 two days later in the first-ever international space docking.

Unfortunately for space enthusiasts, it was also the final flight of an Apollo spacecraft flight.


In tangentially related news, Donald K. “Deke” Slayton plays an important role in my alternate history story, “Memorial at Copernicus,” which is slated to appear in an upcoming issue of the online magazine Redstone Science Fiction.

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