The docking module and Apollo spacecraft for this summer's joint manned mission with the Soviet were mated in the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building today. The docking module will provide a mechanical and electrical link between the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft while they are docked and also serve as an airlock. On hand to participate in the operation were two members of the Apollo prime crew, Astronauts Donald K. Slayton and Vance D. Brand. Launch of the Saturn 1B/Apollo from Complex 39 is scheduled for July 15.
The first international crewed spaceflight was a joint U.S.-U.S.S.R. rendezvous and docking mission. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, or ASTP, took its name from the spacecraft employed: the American Apollo and the Soviet Soyuz. The three-man Apollo crew lifted off from Kennedy Space Center aboard a Saturn IB rocket on July 15, 1975, to link up with the Soyuz that had launched a few hours earlier. A cylindrical docking module served as an airlock between the two spacecraft for transfer of the crew members.
Photo credit: NASA