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|Soyuz ASTP in Orbit - |
Credit: NASA. 18,624 bytes. 316 x 270 pixels.
Objective: Manned. Type: Spacecraft.
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Meetings began in 1969 between Russian and American representatives on a joint manned space mission. Ambitious plans for use of Skylab or Salyut space stations were not approved. Instead it was decided to develop a universal docking system for space rescue. A working group was set up in October 1970 and in May 1972 the USA/USSR Agreement was signed with launch to take place in 1975. D Bushuev and G Lanin were the technical directors of the Soviet-designed EPAS docking system program. 1600 experiments were conducted in developing the system.
Major Events: .
- 03 April 1974 Cosmos 638 Spacecraft: Soyuz ASTP. Mass: 6,570 kg. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. More details
Unmanned Soyuz test flight. Recovered April 13, 1974 5:05 GMT. Soyuz ASTP Test.
190km X 309km orbit to 190km X 266km orbit. Delta V: 12 m/s
190km X 266km orbit to 240km X 300km orbit. Delta V: 23 m/s
240km X 300km orbit to 258km X 274km orbit. Delta V: 12 m/s
Total Delta V: 47 m/s.
Officially: Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.
- 12 August 1974 Cosmos 672 Spacecraft: Soyuz ASTP. Mass: 6,570 kg. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. More details
ASTP precursor. Recovered August 18, 1974 5:02 GMT. Soyuz ASTP test.
195km X 305km orbit to 195km X 221km orbit. Delta V: 24 m/s
195km X 221km orbit to 223km X 223km orbit. Delta V: 8 m/s
231km X 231km orbit to 231km X 231km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
223km X 223km orbit to 231km X 231km orbit. Delta V: 4 m/s
231km X 231km orbit to 227km X 237km orbit. Delta V: 2 m/s
Total Delta V: 39 m/s.
Officially: Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.
|Apollo CSM Interior - Interior of the Apollo Command Service Module on display at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 58,405 bytes. 506 x 392 pixels.
- 02 December 1974 Soyuz 16 Spacecraft: Soyuz ASTP. Mass: 6,800 kg. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. More details
ASTP Manned Test Flight. Check-out of the Soyuz space craft's on-board systems which had been modernized to meet the requirements of the 1975 joint flight in accordance with the programme of the Soviet-United States experiment; conduct of scientific and technical investigations. Landed 30 km NE Arkalyk. Recovered December 8, 1974 8:04 GMT.
|Panel Soyuz 7K-OK - Control panel of the initial earth orbit version of Soyuz.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 11,752 bytes. 723 x 288 pixels.
- 15 July 1975 Saturn S-IVB-210 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. More details
- 15 July 1975 Docking Module 2 Spacecraft: Apollo ASTP Docking Module. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. More details
- 15 July 1975 Soyuz 19 (ASTP) Spacecraft: Soyuz ASTP. Mass: 6,790 kg. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. More details
Soyuz 19 initial orbital parameters were 220.8 by 185.07 kilometres, at the desired inclination of 51.80°, while the period of the first orbit was 88.6 minutes. On 17 July the two spacecraft docked. The crew members rotated between the two spacecraft and conducted various mainly ceremonial activities. Leonov was on the American side for 5 hours, 43 minutes, while Kubasov spent 4:57 in the command and docking modules.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 3,260 bytes. 341 x 174 pixels.
After being docked for nearly 44 hours, Apollo and Soyuz parted for the first time and were station-keeping at a range of 50 meters. The Apollo crew placed its craft between Soyuz and the sun so that the diameter of the service module formed a disk which blocked out the sun. After this experiment Apollo moved towards Soyuz for the second docking.
Three hours later Apollo and Soyuz undocked for the second and final time. The spacecraft moved to a 40 m station-keeping distance so that an ultraviolet absorption experiment could be performed.
With all the joint flight activities completed, the ships went on their separate ways. Soyuz 19 landed safely July 21, 1975 10:51 GMT, 87 km north-east of Arkalyk, 9. 6 km from its aim point.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 6,204 bytes. 477 x 286 pixels.
- 15 July 1975 Apollo (ASTP) Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Mass: 14,768 kg. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. More details
This flight marked the culmination of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a post-moon race 'goodwill' flight to test a common docking system for space rescue. 15 July 1975 began with the flawless launch of Soyuz 19. Apollo followed right on schedule. Despite a stowaway - a 'super Florida mosquito' - the crew accomplished a series of rendezvous manoeuvres over the next day resulting in rendezvous with Soyuz 19. At 11:10 on 17 July the two spacecraft docked. The crew members rotated between the two spacecraft and conducted various mainly ceremonial activities. Stafford spent 7 hours, 10 minutes aboard Soyuz, Brand 6:30, and Slayton 1:35. Leonov was on the American side for 5 hours, 43 minutes, while Kubasov spent 4:57 in the command and docking modules.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 21,104 bytes. 1380 x 1016 pixels.
After being docked for nearly 44 hours, Apollo and Soyuz parted for the first time and were station-keeping at a range of 50 meters. The Apollo crew placed its craft between Soyuz and the sun so that the diameter of the service module formed a disk which blocked out the sun. This artificial solar eclipse, as viewed from Soyuz, permitted photography of the solar corona. After this experiment Apollo moved towards Soyuz for the second docking.
Three hours later Apollo and Soyuz undocked for the second and final time. The spacecraft moved to a 40 m station-keeping distance so that the ultraviolet absorption (UVA MA-059) experiment could be performed. This was an effort to more precisely determine the quantities of atomic oxygen and atomic nitrogen existing at such altitudes. Apollo, flying out of plane around Soyuz, projected monochromatic laser-like beams of light to retro-reflectors mounted on Soyuz. On the 150-meter phase of the experiment, light from a Soyuz port led to a misalignment of the spectrometer, but on the 500-meter pass excellent data were received; on the 1,000-meter pass satisfactory results were also obtained.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 2,964 bytes. 327 x 229 pixels.
With all the joint flight activities completed, the ships went on their separate ways. On 20 July the Apollo crew conducted earth observation, experiments in the multipurpose furnace (MA-010), extreme ultraviolet surveying (MA-083), crystal growth (MA-085), and helium glow (MA-088). On 21 July Soyuz 19 landed safely in Kazakhstan. Apollo continued in orbit on 22-23 July to conduct 23 independent experiments - including a doppler tracking experiment (MA-089) and geodynamics experiment (MA-128) designed to verify which of two techniques would be best suited for studying plate tectonics from earth orbit.
|Apollo CSM - Apollo CSM with Launch Escape Tower|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 4,184 bytes. 609 x 174 pixels.
After donning their space suits, the crew vented the command module tunnel and jettisoned the docking module. The docking module would continue on its way until it re-entered the earth's atmosphere and burned up in August 1975. Apollo splashed down about 7,300 meters from the recovery ship New Orleans. However the flight of the last Apollo spacecraft was marred by the fact that the crew almost perished while the capsule was descending under its parachute.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 7,033 bytes. 561 x 304 pixels.
A failure in switchology led the automatic landing sequence to be not armed at the same time the reaction control system was still active. When the Apollo hadn't begun the parachute deployment sequence by 7,000 metres altitude, Brand hit the manual switches for the apex cover and the drogues. The manual deployment of the drogue chutes caused the CM to sway, and the reaction control system thrusters worked vigorously to counteract that motion. When the crew finally armed the automatic ELS 30 seconds later, the thruster action terminated.
|APAS-75 docking unit - APAS-75 docking unit as used in ASTP project.|
Credit: Andy Salmon. 22,607 bytes. 490 x 293 pixels.
During that 30 seconds, the cabin was flooded with a mixture of toxic unignited propellants from the thrusters. Prior to drogue deployment, the cabin pressure relief valve had opened automatically, and in addition to drawing in fresh air it also brought in unwanted gases being expelled from the roll thrusters located about 0.6 meter from the relief valve. Brand manually deployed the main parachutes at about 2,700 meters despite the gas fumes in the cabin.
|Soyuz ASTP PO - Cutaway of Soyuz equipment / propulsion module.|
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By the time of splashdown, the crew was nearly unconscious from the fumes, Stafford managed to get an oxygen mask over Brand's face. He then began to come around. When the command module was upright in the water, Stafford opened the vent valve, and with the in-rush of air the remaining fumes disappeared. The crew ended up with a two-week hospital stay in Honolulu. For Slayton, it also meant the discovery of a small lesion on his left lung and an exploratory operation that indicated it was a non-malignant tumour.
|Soyuz ASTP SA - Cutaway of Soyuz reentry capsule.|
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- 15 September 1976 Soyuz 22 Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-MF6. Mass: 6,510 kg. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. More details
Surplus Soyuz ASTP spacecraft modified with a multi-spectral camera manufactured by Carl Zeiss-Jena in place of the universal docking apparatus. Eight days were spent photographing the earth. Tested and perfected scientific-technical methods and devices for studying the geological characteristics of the earth's surface from outer space for economic purposes. Recovered September 23, 1976 7:42 GMT. Landed 150 km NW Tselinograd.
|Soyuz ASTP BO - Cutaway of Soyuz orbital module.|
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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .