In July 1975 the global media enthusiastically reported on an event of outstanding international significance – the first ever joint Soviet-American space flight, in which a Soviet spacecraft the Soyuz, and an American Apollo spacecraft took part.
Coverage of the mission was simultaneously sourced from both the USSR and the USA. One of the main aims of the flight was to "build experience in joint USSR and the USA manned space missions." But since 1975 there have been no more of these joint flights. What then was this “experience building”?
Subsequent events evolved in a surprising direction. That year, 1975, Apollo craft ended up in museums, and with nothing to replace them in the United States. Even today there are no American spacecraft or other technical means of ferrying US astronauts to the International Space Station.
By way of contrast Soyuz craft have been continuously improved and are successfully accomplishing one space mission after another. The Soyuz is the only vehicle that transports humans to and from the ISS. To cover the cost of the transportation of US astronauts to the ISS, the US pays Russia $80 million for each Soyuz seat.
So was Apollo ever a viable craft?
And what did "the joint space flight of 1975” actually mean?
What was the ASTP?
On May 24, 1972, the United States of America and the USSR signed the Agreement concerning cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.T1 The foundation stone of this agreement was the announcement of a program for a joint manned experimental flight of the US Apollo-type spacecraft and the Soviet Soyuz-type spacecraft (Figure 1).
Figure 1. May 24, 1972, Moscow. US President R. Nixon (left) and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, A.N. Kosygin sign the agreement for cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. On the left of A.N. Kosygin stands the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, L.I. Brezhnev.
This venture was named the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). The agreement was signed by US President Richard Nixon for the United States, and on the Soviet side signed by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, A.N. Kosygin. Kosygin signed the document in the presence of the leader of the Soviet Union – General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, L.I. Brezhnev.
Figure 2. Crews: Apollo, Donald K. Slayton, Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, and Soyuz 19: Alexey Leonov, Valeri Kubasov.
The main objectives of the ASTP program were:1-3
1) testing components of the compatible low-Earth orbit (LEO) rendezvous systems;
2) testing the active-passive docking unit;
3) checking equipment to ensure visits of astronauts in each other's spacecraft;
4) building experience for joint USSR and USA manned space missions.
Note: most of the quotations in the book have some shortening by the author and may have the author's emphasis. The Apollo part of the project had no mission number. So it is referred to as the Apollo-ASTP.
A description follows of the ASTP flight events based on official data and information:
July 15, 1975 at 15:20 hrs Moscow time, the Soyuz 19 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome with the crew of A. Leonov (commander) and V. Kubasov (flight engineer) (Figure 2);
After seven and a half hours the Apollo command/service module (CSM) with its crew, T. Stafford (commander), D. Slayton and V. Brandt (pilots) was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida;
July 17, spacecraft rendezvous took place in orbit and they docked after the necessary manoeuvres. Astronauts and cosmonauts exchanged visits and carried out several joint experiments in space;
July 19, the ships undocked and then repeated the docking. After this second docking, the ships undocked completely and continued orbiting independently;
July 21, after six days in orbit, the Soyuz 19 spacecraft made a soft landing on the Kazakh steppe;
July 24, after nine days in orbit, Apollo splashed down in the Pacific near the Hawaiian Islands.
Such is the official story.
Figure 3. Soviet press coverage on July 15 and 18, 1975 covering the ASTP flight
In both the Soviet Union and abroad the press reported the flight in the most enthusiastic manner (Figure 3). There were radio and TV broadcasts covering the friendly meetings and co-operative work of the astronauts and cosmonauts in orbit.
There were multiple formal greetings from the Soviet General Secretary L. Brezhnev, from the US President D. Ford, from the UN Secretary-General K. Waldheim and from other world politicians. The two superpowers demonstrated (it would seem for a long time) new relationships and strengthened them with a symbolic handshake in space.
But as the years and decades passed, information about the simulation and faking of the Apollo manned missions were surfacing.4-26, T-4 A thesis was published in Russia based on a number of findings that not one single manned Apollo craft ever flew to the Moon, and none ever managed to even reach LEO. 9,11,12,14,18,19 Naturally, such conclusions raised doubts about the ASTP. These will be discussed below. But first, let's go briefly into the history of Apollo as it appears after summarizing the conclusions reached in the studies.4-26,T-4
A brief history of Apollo
“That's a failure, an embarrassment, that we have to depend on Russian taxi services…”
Today, there are many Soyuz spacecraft mock-ups to be found in museums. And their descendants, updated Soyuz craft, continue to be used as space vehicles. The Soyuz is the only transport available to deliver people to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Apollo story looks somewhat different. Nowadays the craft are only to be seen in museums, and there are no other spacecraft in the United States to replace Apollo. This is the case, even though good technology usually develops further with updated and improved models. Therefore, as with the Russian Soyuz, it would be logical to expect the evolution over the five intervening decades of considerably improved US spacecraft technology.
These days, in order to send its astronauts to the ISS, the United States has to request Russia to do the job. Professor John Logsdon, former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University wrote: “That's a failure, an embarrassment, that we have to depend on Russian taxi services [to ferry astronauts to the ISS]…” T-2
How can it be that a nation, that half a century ago was allegedly sending its astronauts to the Moon with Apollo, is now totally unable to even ferry astronauts to LEO?
And where are the descendants of the brilliant Apollo craft? Why not blow the dust off the drawings, update the Apollo designs with advanced technologies and go forward to the ISS with them? Then there would be no need to pay the Russians for all those LEO taxi services!
Although it is hardly accidental that Apollo retreated into museums along with the rockets that supposedly delivered it to low-Earth orbit (with the Saturn-1B) and even to the Moon (the giant rocket Saturn V). The heart of every rocket is its engine. Moreover, it is the heart that allows transplantation from one type of rocket to another.
For example, in the Soviet Union in 1987 a super heavy rocket Energia successfully made its maiden flight. It used a super-powerful engine RD-170. But shortly after, for political reasons, the Energia project was shut down. But Energia’s RD-170 engine is used as the first stage engine RD-171 on the Zenit family of the space launch vehicles, while the RD-180 engine (derived from RD-170/RD-171) is used on the US Atlas V launch system.28
However, the claimed super-powerful F-1 engines allegedly used in the Saturn V rocket for some reason are no longer used – the USA is buying Russian-built RD-180 engines. Currently they are the most powerful engines used in the USA.
It is a fact that in 1975, immediately after completing the ASTP, the Apollo program was permanently shut down. Maybe it’s because the US never had any viable spacecraft? There were only mock-ups of something that looked like a spacecraft. The largest models were named Apollo and widely promoted, but they couldn’t fly to space!
Here is what an American researcher, engineer and inventor Ralph René wrote describing how each manned Apollo mission was falsified in roughly the same way:4
… Each mission was on sequential tapes and programmed into the computer weeks before the lift-off… all that was left was to provide the distraction that is vital to conman and magician alike just before the deception begins. In this case it was the public launching at Cape Canaveral that provided all the flame, fury and flash that any magician could ever ask for. It focused the attention of billions of people around the world on the launch while diverting us from the scam.
Today, the picture painted by Ralph René could have more detail added. But to do so here would only distract from the topic of the ASTP. And judging from mail received by the author and by responses from Internet users, the arguments given [refs cited] concerning the non-flight worthiness of Apollo are fully understood by a significant number of readers.
Yet any strengthening of this understanding is hampered by a single, and very important BUT.
What about the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project?
Many readers today are convinced that disinformation, and sometimes even a blatant lie, is the basis of US state policy. Therefore, they are psychologically ready to accept that the Americans falsified their manned space missions. They are even ready to accept the accumulating evidence that the Soviet leadership, while pursuing its own political goals, turned a blind eye to American space deceits. 4-7, 9, 15-17, 24-25, T-3
But not every reader will accept the idea that soon after completion of the alleged Moon landings (1972), the higher Soviet leadership went even further and was directly involved in a new, now Soviet-American space hoax – the ASTP. Namely, that the higher leadership of the Soviet Communist party assisted the US in confirming its Moon "victory."
Here is a good example. On May 1, 2016 a documentary How Americans Painted the Moon14 was aired on a Russian TV network (REN TV). In this documentary many of the ideas formulated above were presented to the audience. Judging by the voting on the Internet, the feedback to this movie was, in general, positive. But, there were also negative responses, such as this one:
No, Americans were not on the surface of the Moon, but they were flying around the Moon. They did have a spacecraft – the Apollo-Soyuz mission proved it!
Therefore the widely-advertised Apollo-Soyuz flight serves as a convincing cover for all Apollo missions and for the entire Moon hoax program. So it is very important to investigate what is really behind the impressive acronym – the ASTP.
Apollo-Soyuz: The Joint Hoax?
Alexander Popov PhD
English translation from the Russian by BigPhil
Published in English by Aulis Publishers London
Aulis Publishers, September, 2018
Open Access book freely available to
read on a Creative Commons License
The opinions and conclusions expressed in the following chapters
are those of the author and not necessarily of Aulis Publishers
About the Author
Alexander Popov PhD
Alexander Popov PhD was born in 1943 and graduated from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) Department of Experimental and theoretical physics in 1966. He spent time in special design departments, but mostly working in MEPhI.
In 1973 Popov received his PhD in MEPhI with his thesis on "Investigation of the interaction of optical radiation with the active medium of gas lasers."
In 1984 he became a Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in MEPhI with his thesis on "Laser absorption analysis of molecular gases."
Popov is author and co-author of 15 inventions and more than 100 publications in the field of laser technology, spectroscopy, absorption analysis, gas analysis, and laser optics. With his developments he has participated in the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy (VDNKh). He is decorated with bronze (1978) and gold (1981) medals of the Exhibition, and a medal "850 years of Moscow."
Alexander Popov recently wrote Americans on the Moon: a Major Breakthrough or a Space Scam? in Russian, 2009.
Internet links checked and active January 10, 2018
1. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, Wikipedia
2. Soyuz and Apollo, Articles edited by the ASTP project manager on the Soviet side, the Hero of Socialist Labor, laureate of the Lenin and State Prizes, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences K.D. Bushuev, Moscow, 1976, 271p
3. Apollo-Soyuz Project, Epizodyspace
4. René, Ralph; Lucas, Stu, ed. NASA Mooned America! Drawings by Chris Wolfer. Passaic, NJ: René 1994
5. Y.I. Mukhin, AntiApollo, Moscow, “Yauza”, “EKSMO”, 2005, 425p
6. Y.I. Mukhin, The Moon Hoax or where did Americans go? 2nd edition, Moscow, “Algorithm”, 2009
7. The Americans never went to the Moon
8. A.I. Popov, Americans on the Moon: the great breakthrough or a space hoax, Moscow, “Veche”, 2009, 295p
9. Did this Saturn V Rocket Get to the Moon? Chapter 2 in English
10. A.I. Popov, The Gemini Hoax
11. A.I. Popov, Lively and energetic returning from space
12. A.I. Popov, Astronauts, where were your eyes?
13. A.I. Popov, The Fake colour of the Moon
14. How the Americans Painted the Moon, Russian TV (REN TV) May 1, 2016, 2:00pm Moscow time
15. A.I. Popov, USSR helps the USA to win the Moon race
16. A.I. Popov, Moon race: competition of two systems or 'selling' the Moon to the Americans
17. A.I. Popov, The role of the USSR leadership in the NASA’s Moon hoax
18. A.V. Kudryavets, Practicalities of life on the Apollo missions
19. Faked Apollo Atmosphere Re-entry from Space? Alexander Popov PhD and Andrei Bulatov
20. Bolshoyforum Category: Moon hoax
21. I.V. Davidenko Prof, N.S. Kellin, PhD, Americans on the Moon: A great deception, New Studies of the Moon hoax
22. The great US space hoax
23. S.M. Yeryomenko, To the Moon with the God’s help
24. Reasons that encouraged the US to perpetrate the hoax, and the consequences of the exposure
25. A.V. Kudryavets, Historical context of the moon race
26. America reflects upon the end of the Space Shuttle program
27. How the space shuttle program floundered
28. Energia, Wikipedia
English translation references:
T-1. Agreement concerning cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes
T-2. Space Shuttle: The darker view of the end of an era
T-3. Illusory Apollo: the Ultimate Mega Show, Alexander Onoprienko
T-4. What Colour is the Moon? Leonid Konovalov