ISS-65 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Akihiko Hoshide

Flight engineers:
leg Novitskiy
Petr Dubrov
Mark Vande Hei
Robert Shane Kimbrough
Megan McArthur
Tomas Pesquet



On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the handshake in orbit

July 17, 2020

July 17, 1975 saw the worlds first docking in low Earth orbit of manned spacecraft from two different countries - the Soviet Soyuz-19 and US Apollo spacecraft. The historic docking was the result of international cooperation between two leading spacefaring nations within the framework of Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

The work under Apollo-Soyuz program began in accordance with the Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes between governments of the Soviet Union and United States signed on May 24, 1972. Preparations for carrying out the program took three years, during which time specialists from both countries managed to solve challenging technological problems in compatibility of design methods and measurement standards, documenting and development management systems.

A key role in coordinating internal and external work under the program was given to TsKBEM located near Moscow (now known as S.P.Korolev RSC Energia). Design engineers of the Korolev company developed a new version of the manned spacecraft Soyuz 7K-TM, which was equipped with a specially developed Androgynous Peripheral Docking System APDS-75 to support docking with a spacecraft of a different type. In addition to this work was done to achieve compatibility between life support systems of Soyuz and Apollo, and to provide the capability for internal transfer between them a docking/airlock module was developed. Within the framework of flight development tests of the spacecraft there were two unmanned missions and one manned mission, and, for the first time, real-time mission control was set up for a constellation of manned space systems in cooperation between our countrys and US mission control centers. Also for the first time Soviet and US crews had joint training sessions in spacecraft simulators at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and Johnson Space Center.

On July 15, 1975, a manned spacecraft Soyuz-19 lifted off with a crew consisting of commander Alexei Leonov and flight engineer Valeri Kubasov. A few hours later on the same day, there was a launch from the launch site on Cape Canaveral that put into orbit an Apollo spacecraft piloted by Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Donald Slayton. The rendezvous maneuver of active Apollo spacecraft was carried out under control from the ground tracking stations of the Soviet and US mission control centers. Moreover, there was a direct TV, phone and telegraphy link between the spacecraft.

On July 17, 1975 Soyuz-19 and Apollo successfully docked establishing the worlds first international space complex. After the opening of the hatches there was a symbolic handshake of spacecraft commanders Alexei Leonov and Thomas Stafford, accompanied with TV broadcast to Earth. During attached flight that lasted almost two days the crews performed four transfers between the spacecraft, conducted tests of onboard systems and a number science experiments, including a check of effects of zero gravity, g-loads and space radiation on human biological rhythms. On July 19 the spacecraft undocked and carried out an experiment in setting up an artificial solar eclipse. After two orbits Soyuz-19, acting this time as the active spacecraft, docked with the US spacecraft to try out the operation of the docking assembly. After completion of the second joint three-hour flight, the spacecraft undocked for the last time and switched to free-flight mode.

Altogether, the mission of the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz-19 lasted 5 days 22 hours 31 minutes. On July 21, 1975, the descent vehicle carrying cosmonauts Leonov and Kubasov landed near the town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan. The mission of Apollo lasted almost twice as long, almost 9 days 1 hour 29 minutes. On July 24 the descent vehicle with the three astronauts successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.




June 30, 2021
The launch of LV Soyuz-2.1a with SC Progress MS-17 is planned
April 9, 2021
LV Soyuz-2.1a with SC Soyuz MS-18 is launched



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