The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project|
At the March 1973 Working Group meetings,
Shatalov, in charge of cosmonaut training, and Bob Overmyer worked to
pull together a "Crew and Ground Personnel Training Plan," ASTP 40
700, which defined the study and practice sessions that would be held
for crews, flight controllers, and other control center staff. They
agreed that there would be three training sessions in the U.S.S.R.
and three in the United States. Instead of trying to second-guess the
curricula for the second and third meetings, they planned to let the
host country advise its guest team a month or so in advance of the
training agenda. Any updated material should be added to the training
plan by a document change notice. The length of the meetings would be
kept flexible in an effort to provide an adequate stay for the
orientations but not waste time. Cosmonauts would visit Houston in
July, and the astronauts hoped to travel to Star City in the
In anticipation of the familiarization visits,
the Soviets lowered another barrier in their space program during
June 1973 - they invited a delegation of American aerospace writers
to visit Zvezdny Gorodok (Star City). Donald Winston and Robert Hotz
of Aviation Week and John Shaw and Jerry Hannafin of Time were among those
who toured the facilities. The correspondents were impressed by the
vitality of the Soviet space program. Shaw reported: "Unlike the
Johnson Space Center[*] in Houston, where major retrenchments are underway,
Star City is rapidly expanding a sure sign of the Soviet Union's
continued dedication to the exploration of space."22 Aviation
 agreed: "The building activity underscores Russia's
determination to retain capability in manned space missions despite a
series of set backs that has forced an unscheduled two-year hiatus in
manned orbital flights by that country."23 From their conversations with General Shatalov, the
reporters learned that the cosmonauts were making special
preparations for work with their American counterparts.
Ten cosmonauts - the ASTP crews, Yeliseyev,
and Shatalov - and four Soviet training specialists arrived in
Houston with the rest of the Working Groups on 8 July 1973. At the
request of the Soviets, a large block of time was set aside for them
to listen to taped recordings of actual Apollo air-to- ground
conversations. While getting a better idea of what they would be
hearing during the mission, they also reviewed the "Glossary of
Conversational Expressions between Cosmonauts and Astronauts during
ASTP," which was a step toward standardizing the mission language.
This work was followed by a series of video taped presentations on
the command and docking modules that had been prepared by Rockwell
International and narrated by Alex Sementovsky, one of Rockwell's
Each of the video lectures was followed by a
question and answer period. By presenting the basic material in
Russian the first time, considerable training time was saved. These
tapes, covering the design and operation of the Apollo spacecraft
systems, were supplemented by handouts with the same material and
illustrations, and both were taken home so the cosmonauts could spend
as much time with the topics as they felt was necessary. After
participating in a discussion with other Working Group 1 members on
the "Joint Crew Activities Plan," ASTP 40 301, each cosmonaut was
given a ride in the command module simulator, so he could get a
better understanding of how some of the command module systems worked
and observe the simulator's capabilities. Following that exercise,
the Soviets had an opportunity to examine the docking module mockup
and study its systems.24
Visit to Rockwell Command and Service Module
Production Facility at Downey, California, 14 July 1973
[above] The Soviets are shown
the Apollo 17 heatshield, which had been removed from the
command and service module in the rear. From left to right,
A. S. Ivanchenkov, A. S. Yeliseyev, N. N. Rukavishnikov, V.
N. Kubasov, K. D. Bushuyev, T. P. Stafford, A. Tatistcheff,
and C. W. Helms.
[above] Tom Stafford, behind
Professor Bushuyev, explains the functioning of the hatch
quick opening mechanism to the Professor and Cosmonauts
Kubasov and Ivanchenkov.
George Merrick, Vice President,
Space Division, Rockwell International, explains the
cryogenic equipment to be installed in the service module.
His audience consists of, from left to right, Bushuyev,
Sementovsky , and Filipchenko.
Leo Krupp, Supervisor of Pilot
Technology at Rockwell, explains layout of mockup of Shuttle
Orbiter cockpit to Professor Bushuyev.
On 14 July, Lunney and Bushuyev accompanied
the cosmonauts to Rockwell International's factory at Downey. Once
there, the Professor and his comrades were able to observe work being
done on CSM 111, examine a high fidelity mockup of the docking
module, and study the effects of reentry on several command modules
stored at Downey. Their factory tour ended with a demonstration of
the Apollo docking and entry simulators. The Soviets returned to
Houston for another week of activities before departing for Moscow on
Reporters speculated that the Soviets had left
when they did to avoid having to accept Glynn Lunney's invitation to
watch the 28 July launch of  the second Skylab
crew. Bushuyev, when questioned at the press conference closing the
two-week stay, said that they had accomplished all of their
objectives and that remaining for a third week would have presented
"difficulties for some of [our] side because some of the participants
in our delegation have duties at home which cannot be
postponed."26 Whether the Soviet spokesman was making excuses or
whether some members of his team were going home to prepare for the
launch of Soyuz 12 is unclear. Nevertheless, the termination of the
meetings was completely in line with the agreement not to waste time.
The cosmonauts had completed their work, and they and the astronauts
would begin readying themselves for their Moscow session.
* The Manned Spacecraft
Center had been renamed in honor of Lyndon B. Johnson in a
congressional act signed by President Nixon on 17 Feb. 1973.
21. "Apollo Soyuz Test
Project Crew and Ground Personnel Training Plan," ASTP 40 700, 26
22. "Soviet Space: A
visit to Star City," Time, 9 July 1973. John
Noble Wilford of the New York
Times had been one of the first
Western news persons to visit Star City when he toured the center in
March 1972 during his month sojourn in the U.S.S.R. His evaluation of
the Soviet center and the pace of the Soviet program was similar to
those in Time and Aviation
Week; Wilford, "Friendly, Yes, but
Trying to Be First," New York
Times. 28 Mar. 1972.
23. Donald C. Winston,
"Soviet Space Center Being Expanded," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 25 June 1973, p. 18.
24. "Minutes, Joint
Meeting of Working Group 1," in "Apollo Soyuz Test Project, Minutes
of Joint Meeting, USSR Academy of Sciences and US National
Aeronautics and Space Administration," 9-20 July 1973; and interview,
Mike S. Brzezinski-Ezell, 23 Sept. 1975.
25. "Minutes, Joint
Meeting of Working Group 1," 9-20 July 1973; and NASA News Release,
HQ [unnumbered], "Communique on Results of Apollo Soyuz Test Project
Meetings, July 8-20, 1973" [20 July 1973].
26. NASA Press
Conference, JSC, "Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) Technical
Directors and Prime Crew Press Conference," 20 July 1973; Wilford,
"Astronauts from Soviet and U.S. Begin a Briefing in Houston for
Joint Mission," New York
Times, 10 July 1973; "Cosmonauts Hear
Lectures," Houston Post, 11 July 1973; and Jack Waugh, "Building U.S.-Soviet
Space Team," Christian Science
Monitor, 19 July 1973.