The KGA Design Stafford Memorial Bench, featuring water jet cutouts of hand drawn images by General Thomas P. Stafford served as a centerpiece of celebration at the 40th anniversary celebration of the joining of the “Soyuz – Apollo” Missions.
At the end of the meeting in one of the halls of the Museum, one finds the Stafford Commemorative bench, which General Stafford donated to the Museum in honor of the 35th anniversary of the flight of the “Soyuz” and “Apollo.” Thomas Stafford and Alexei Leonov shook hands, symbolizing friendship and cooperation the benefit of both the US and Russian countries and their peoples.
[doptg id =”39″]
The full article (translated from Russian is available here):
July 15, 2015 in the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics (ENEA) was held jubilee, the fortieth meeting of the legendary Earthlings: cosmonaut Alexei Leonov and astronaut Thomas Stafford. At the meeting, which was broadcast on Russian TV channels live (leading the meeting, Dmitry Shchegolev), Leonov and T. Stafford shared memories and talked about how the preparation for the flight of the “Soyuz” and “Apollo” program “EPAS “and the historic handshake in space.
Meeting at the MMK was scheduled for 12.30. A small cinema room of the museum well before the meeting was filled with invited guests: astronauts, heroes of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, academicians, heads of ACCD, veterans of space industry and journalists.
At 12.00 in the cinema hall, accompanied by the US delegation walked astronaut Thomas Patten Stafford – United States Air Force Lieutenant-General (1978), awarded the Gold Medal named after Academician VFUtkin “For Contribution to International Cooperation in Space”, an honorary citizen of the city of Kaliningrad.In 2004, Thomas Stafford adopted two Russian boys from an orphanage in Shchelkovo area next to the Star City. Stanislav Baranov, 9 years old, was now Stanislav «Stas» Patten Stafford, and Mikhail Morozov, 12 years old, became Michael Thomas Stafford.
Exactly at 12.30 the meeting began. Dmitry Shchegolev invited to the improvised stage cinema Astronaut T. Stafford and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov and V. Blagova, TRAC Academician, deputy head of the flight of “Energia” to them. SP Queen; cosmonaut A. Eliseev – in preparation “ASTP” project, he was deputy general designer – head of manned spacecraft flight of the USSR; cosmonaut S. Krikalev, the first deputy director of the Central Research Institute of Machine Building for manned programs.
Leonov and T. Stafford shared with the audience unforgettable memories as the preparation for the first international joint flight of the “Soyuz” and “Apollo.”
T. Stafford in his story noted that for good friends and still meet annually preparing for flight crew members, marking a significant event not only in his life but also the lives of two US and Russian states.
Leonov said that the orbit is not only to work together to work, but also found time kindly make fun of each other.
Stories Leonov on a joint dinner in the “territories” of the Union “, which ended with” drinking “Russian borscht from the tube instead of the fortified drink and T. Stafford about how he knock Alexis in manhole, asked:” Who’s there? “aroused in the audience smiles and laughter of those present.
On overcoming the technical problems in the preparation of the star mission, told RACTs Member, B. Fortunately, cosmonaut Alexei Yeliseyev, cosmonaut S. Krikalev. In their speeches, it was stressed that the EPAS “Soyuz-Apollo” project went down in history as an important stage on the path of space exploration combined efforts of different countries. For the first time in the history of Kosmoplavanie orbiting the Earth was created and functioned during two days of the space system docked ships of the two countries with the international crew on board.
All the speakers pointed out that took place July 15, 1975 flight and docking at the “Soyuz” and “Apollo” spacecraft orbit the Earth still is an important event and an example of cooperation between the two countries, Russia and the United States.
“In 1945, on the Elbe we met our fathers, and in 1975 on the Elbe sons met. This is some kind of providence was. That’s really, really a lot of sense in our relations “, – said cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Alexei Leonov.
Preparations for the historic dock lasted about three years, the flight was nearly shelved altogether. But the handshake in space is still held. And it became a symbol of rapprochement between the two superpowers during the “detente” in the “cold war.” Despite the technical difficulties, the incompatibility of the ships life-support systems, the astronauts managed to rise above politics.
At the end of the meeting the veterans of the cosmodrome “Baikonur” T. Stafford gave a small copy of the “Soyuz” and “Apollo”, docked in orbit.
Thomas Stafford in response gave the museum a memorial sign “40 anniversary of the first joint international flight of spacecraft” Soyuz “and” Apollo “and a small piece of heat protection of the Space Shuttle” Space Shuttle “.
At the end of the meeting in one of the halls of the Museum, which is set bench T. Stafford, which he donated to the Museum in honor of the 35th anniversary of the flight of the “Soyuz” and “Apollo”, Thomas Stafford and Alexei Leonov shook hands, symbolizing friendship and cooperation the benefit of both the US and Russian countries and their peoples.