The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project|
The 1973 Paris Air Show
According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, a full-scale representation of the Apollo command and
service module (CSM) and docking module joined with a Soyuz
spacecraft formed the "focal point for the 30th Paris Air Show" held
on 25 May to 3 June 1973.8
The Soviets and Americans, represented by Igor Gregoryevich
Pochitalin and Charles A. Biggs, had decided at the December 1972
Moscow negotiations to prepare an exhibit that would show the
aerospace world the progress made toward the joint
Although plans for the display came too late for the show management
to provide space in one of the permanent pavilions, they agreed to
set aside some land usually reserved for parking on which the two
teams  could erect a
temporary fabric dome suspended from a geodesic frame. Inside the 930
square meters, NASA planned to display a refurbished CSM that had
been used in vibration tests, and the Soviets would assemble a Soyuz
from leftover test hardware.10
Workmen rest alongside the
Apollo and Soyuz mockups, as the joint ASTP exhibit is being set up
for the opening of the 1973 Paris Air Show.
Soviet and American workers took five days to
put together the dome and mate the spacecraft. American co-director
Biggs quipped to an Aviation
Week writer that he hoped the ASTP
crews would get the job done a lot faster when they met in orbit.
Pochitalin estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 people a day would visit the
exhibit to see the mockups and the captioned photographs explaining
the project in English, French, and Russian.11 To help publicize the presentation, cosmonauts Leonov,
Kubasov, Filipchenko, and Yeliseyev met with the Apollo 17 crew - Cernan,
Evans, and Schmitt - and their ASTP crewmate Tom Stafford. Brand and
Slayton were unable to leave Houston because they were involved in
the first manned visit to Skylab. Stafford and Leonov managed to fill
in for the missing astronauts, posing for photographers and answering
questions from the media and visiting dignitaries.
The ASTP exhibit in France was well received
by the public until the very last hours it was open. The joint
pavilion, the first exhibit to be seen upon entering the show
grounds, stood in stark contrast to the military and commercial
rivalry involved in other displays. In an editorial, Aviation Week's Robert
Hotz indicated that the dramatic Apollo-Soyuz "docking display" was a
symbolic expression of growing cooperation in space. A happy and
friendly event, the Paris presentation attracted 400,000 visitors,
surpassing the unexpected attendance thirteen times. The camaraderie
displayed by the cosmonauts and astronauts was a welcome sign; they
had not always been so close.12
Spotlighting Cooperation at Paris Air Show," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 28 May 1973, p. 14; and Shirley Malloy to George M.
Low, 25 May 1973, message relaying comment from Aviation Week editor
Robert Hotz: "Your Paris exhibit is the star of the show."
9. "Minutes of
Discussion on Organization of Joint Exhibition at the 30th
International Aviation and Space in Paris, May 1973," 14-15 Dec.
10. Letter, Glynn S.
Lunney to Konstantin Davydovich Bushuyev, 20 Feb.1973, with enclosure
"Minutes of Paris Air Show Telephone Conversation, February 8,
Spotlighting Cooperation at Paris Air Show," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 28 May 1973, p. 15.
12. Hotz, "Paris Vintage
1973," Aviation Week & Space
Technology, 11 June 1973 p. 7; and
interview, Charles A. Biggs-Edward C. Ezell, 28 Oct. 1975.