Joint U.S.-Soviet Space Mission
Technical and Political Purposes of Apollo-Soyuz
Shortly after noon (EDT) on Thursday, July 17, about 135 miles above Europe, a silver, bullet-shaped American Apollo spacecraft will maneuver slowly toward a green and white Russian Soyuz capsule with a bulbous nose and a pair of wings. The Apollo will push a black docking module toward the Soyuz and a metal ring will lock into a series of latching devices and pressure seals. After docking is completed, a hatch will open to permit Apollo astronauts Thomas P. Stafford and Donald K. (Deke) Slayton, weightless in space, to crawl into the docking module, while Vance D. Brand remains behind in the Apollo command module.
Sometime after 3 p.m., the Soyuz hatch will open and Stafford will ...