I didn’t know this had happened…

It just goes to show you that what was news decades ago fades from the popular psyche incredibly quickly.

In 1975, at the height of the cold war the USA and the USSR got together and performed a miracle.

Those of you who have followed this blog know that I’m comfortable with flights of fancy, but I stumbled across this while surfing the NASA website and I was amazed, this was literally a real flight of fancy. At a time when the world seemed poised at the brink of nuclear lunacy these two superpowers got together and did something that seems amazing.

After years of preparation they used two completely different spacecraft to come together above the Earth in harmony, the President of the United Sates that point was Gerald Ford and some Russian President (it’s late and the sources seem as coy as a Friday night virgin on exactly who was in charge of the Soviet Union at this point, and my interest in this subject matter only goes so far, humph).

The Apollo orbitor – the bit on the nose has been designed to interface with the Soyuz spacecraft

I need to do some more investigation, but the question has to be; why did this even happen? These were two empires that were opposed to each other in every way, socially, politically and in fundamentals of imperial ambition. What happened, and possibly more importantly why does this brief liaison in space foreshadow a warming of a relationship between these two cold war superpowers and what went wrong?

This warming soon cooled when more hard line politicians like Reagan took office. Of course Reagan took charge after the American public was at a low point due to the shenanigans of Nixon, but still, if this cooperation could happen even in the midst of the cold war, something must have changed in the basic American mindset.

The Soyuz spacecraft that prepared to welcome Americans

As I write this I realise that I’m being naive, there were massive social and political changes that happened during the curatorship of three different American Presidents, as well as changes that were tearing apart the Russion social and political environment. It just seems to me that an event like this linkup should have presented the world with an opportunity for detante, one that would not be repeated for decades.

Deke Slayton (left) with Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov in the Soyuz spacecraft

Anyway, it just seems to be an opportunity lost.

I was interested in the facts at the beginning of this post, but after researching the name of the Russian President at the the time of the launch and the attitude of the American public towards this unprecedented cooperation between the two countries, I’ve realised that I’ve got too much time on my hands and that the world would have been a more interesting place had the Cuban Missile Crisis come to more exciting conclusion.

I mean new CIA files have revealed that there were already 100’s of missiles aimed at the US when the crisis was unfolding… Oh look a a squarill. a squaral, a squ..

No, to bed I think and let this be a lesson to you. Never start out on a blog post without thinking it through completely. If you do then you will inevitably find that you.



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