Apollo-Soyuz — An end to the Space Race

During President Ford’s administration, capsules from the world’s two largest competitors in the decades long space race met in what became known as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). The historic docking of the two spacecraft brought a symbolic end to the 20-year space race.

The Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts both launched on July 15, 1975. They docked in outer space at 12:10 p.m. EDT on July 17.

Joint scientific and logistics experiments were conducted by the crews, and the docking served a greater symbolic purpose too. The crews of both spacecraft spent much of their time talking to President Ford and Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev.  This unique mission, combining both diplomacy and science, demonstrated that U.S./Soviet space cooperation was possible and laid the foundation for the current International Space Station. 

This 1974 painting by artist Robert McCall painting depicts the planned docking of American and Soviet spacecraft. Courtesy of

More on Apollo Soyuz from the Ford Library

This week we’re counting down to our Thursday noontime space program happening in partnership with NASA, The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives

Watch it live on our UStream channel: