Apollo Investigation

Apollo-Soyuz: The Joint Hoax?

Alexander Popov PhD

Chapter 14

What did the USA and USSR gain from the ASTP?

NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. George M. Low’s
1975 interview with Soviet journalists

There follows an excerpt from the book by Y. Golovanov titled The Truth about the Apollo program1 concerning the results of the ASTP. Golovanov's direct speech is marked YG.

YG: The Americans talk about ASTP as an event opening a new era in astronautics and in the history of human civilization. This expedition will take the same place in history as the first manned flight into space and the first Moon landing... We were invited to the Main Building of the Center. Unauthorized access is prohibited here. The elevator is guarded by a policeman. There is an iron box with a slot with an inscription on it, 'Only for classified waste'. A group of Soviet journalists in Houston asked the NASA technical director, George Low, and the director of the Houston Manned Spacecraft Center, Christopher Kraft, to comment on the ASTP results.

Low: It will take a lot of time to properly assess the scope of the work done. I hope that both our great countries will continue to work together in space.

YG: Is another flight needed, repeating the Apollo-Soyuz?

Low: I don't think so. There are other options.

Fig 1
Figure 1. General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, L.I. Brezhnev (right) and US President Richard Nixon

The essence of the Dr. Low’s answer is ‘Don't count on it!’

Y. Golovanov’s book goes on to describe his impressions from the interview with Low and Kraft:

the key points were that our cooperation was fruitful, what was done will allow us to hope for a prompt and interesting continuation [of such projects]. Then, after the conversation, as we walked past the white buildings of the center, we agreed that who knows, maybe in a few years we will have to come back here and write reports about our new mutual work among the stars. But alas, this did not happen...

This book was published in 2000, 25 years after the 1975 mission. Quite enough time to realise that the main message of that conversation was actually a clear "No!" from Dr. Low. Essentially this meant "Don't count on it. There will be no prompt continuation and that there are other options".

Of course, Dr. Low softened his "No" with encouraging phraseology, giving the impression that "both our great countries will continue to work together in space. All this will allow the solving of more complex problems... It will take a lot of time to properly assess the scope of the work done, etc."

Dr. Low was a man of this word and said what he meant. Immediately after the ASTP the last Apollo command module ended up in the California Science Center in Los Angeles, on loan from the Smithsonian. The Saturn 1B rocket, which allegedly put the Apollo-ASTP into low-Earth orbit was also destined for a museum. We no longer see either the launch rockets, or any of the Apollo spacecraft on US launch pads. But then, as Dr. Low said, there are other options.

Dr. Low retired in 1976, since then essentially NASA’s policy has not changed.

What did the USA gain from the ASTP?


The ASTP Agreement was signed in 1972. It was the year of the last two landings of American astronauts on the Moon. The Soviet leadership, apparently holding trump cards from the Soviet intelligence, rather than exposing the Apollo Moon landing hoax, seemingly chose to sell its silence, and along with that, went the USSR’s space superiority.2-7

The absence of criticism from the USSR and thus, the silent recognition of the fake USA lunar landings was perceived by the world as the most significant conformation of their genuineness.

With the support of the Russians themselves it would not be difficult for the USA to maintain the legend of the spectacular successes of the Apollo missions. Encouraging the Russians to fly into space on their Soyuz, announce that they docked with the Apollo craft in a joint project after lengthy cooperative preparations, would fully confirm the record of the Apollo missions.

That’s why the Americans initiated the ASTP in the first place. The idea for the project was expressed by NASA’s director Thomas O. Paine in early 1970 during correspondence with Soviet Academy of Sciences president M. Keldysh. In October of the same year, the first meeting of specialists from the USSR and the USA took place in Moscow8. Of course, negotiations at various levels had taken place since 19679. But the fact that the first formal step was taken by the US is evidence of their fundamental interest in the ASTP.

It wasn’t until April 11, 1972 in Moscow that US President Richard Nixon and General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee L. Brezhnev signed the Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, embodied in the ASTP project.9,10, T-1 But the fact that the first formal step was taken by the US is evidence of their fundamental interest in the ASTP. Soviet cosmonauts A. Leonov and V. Kubasov made a solo flight on the Soyuz 19 in 1975. During the course of this flight, reports about the alleged rendezvous and docking with an Apollo craft in orbit were circulating.

Of course, the United States had to spend a little money and use endearments to persuade the Soviet Union to participate. A number of important factories and the main gas pipeline to Europe were built on USSR territory with loans from the USA and Germany. The West spent billions of dollars on all of this. And the United States also sold millions of tons of wheat to the Soviet Union. As a result of which their domestic market temporarily saw the grain almost double in price.

However, these billions of dollars were not burdensome for the United States, because it was at this time (1971) that the US had completely severed the link between the dollar and gold. The Soviet Union, acting in the spirit of "détente and mutual understanding" did not object.

The ASTP was very helpful indeed to the United States. It reinforced the results of many years of propaganda and brainwashing as to the superiority of US in space. It reinforced the alleged viability of the Apollo spacecraft, and finally it confirmed victory by the United States in the race to the Moon. Consequently the US was able to fulfil all its goals by initiating the ASTP deception.

What did the USSR gain from the ASTP?

Having embarked on the path of selling the glory of their country for temporary economic benefits2-7 and for the promises of eternal friendship with the Americans, the Brezhnev leadership soon turned from a 'blackmailer' into slaves to their own deception. Indeed, what could American politicians say to their people to justify the actions of the US should the Apollo Moon myth ever be exposed? That they fought for their national interests and against communism!

And what could the Soviet Politburo say to its people who had been deceived and to those hundreds of thousands of people who have invested their talent, expertise and experince in the country's leadership in space? They could only say that the USSR had hoped to secure eternal friendship from America, but had miscalculated? For sure, the Soviet people would have reacted entirely negatively.

On viewing the video11, you will see L.I. Brezhnev receiving the US astronauts and the Soviet cosmonauts after completing the ASTP mission.

At this meeting Brezhnev talks about a mutual understanding with the United States, about cooperation in solving world problems. Obviously, he counted on the reciprocal gratitude of the United States for the cooperation of the USSR in the Moon deception and as a final gesture, active USSR participation in the ASTP hoax. But in the geopolitics dictionary there is no such word as "gratitude". The collapse of the détente policy would come within a few years after the ASTP.

Fig 2

Figure 2. USSR TV – Apollo-Soyuz. Scene from the meeting of L. Brezhnev with the crews of the Soyuz 19 and the Apollo ASTP

What does the mutual understanding between the USSR and the United States, and therefore cooperation in solving world problems actually mean? – Joint and equal governance of the entire world. But at least since 1945 the USA has acted as global policeman and remains the dominant power in Asia.

Before the ASTP, the Politburo participated in the hoax by indulging in the American deception and banning any Soviet space developments that might be a danger to the prestige of the United States. In the ASTP the Politburo acted as an accomplice. And from that point onwards, the US ceased to fear any potential exposure of the lunar landing hoax from the Soviet side.

However, the détente faded quickly, and after a few years the cold war raged with a new, even greater force with the new US President Ronald Reagan declaring in 1983 the USSR to be an "evil empire."

Many years later after the secret plans of the United States had been put into practice, Henry Kissinger (US Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and today, aged 95, still one of the leading American shadow politicians) as reported in the Soviet media, said about Brezhnev "As a politician he is useless, but [he is] an ace driver."12

In this he was referring to Brezhnev’s love of expensive cars, two of which were given to him by Nixon during the ASTP years – a Cadillac in 1972 and a customised Lincoln Continental in 1973. It was Brezhnev’s driving of the Lincoln at Camp David which would inspire Kissinger’s apparently sarcastic remark.13-14

What then did the USSR gain from the ASTP? It could be said that it all turned out according to the Russian proverb, Went to get wool, but returned shorn.


Until now, despite everything, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project has served as validation of the Apollo missions and became the epilogue of the Moon hoax and the entire Moon landing deception program.

However, the most convincing confirmation of the deception practised on the public comes from the final part of the ASTP. It must surely be the fact that the US astronauts, after a total of nine days in space spent in disgusting and increasingly debilitating physical conditions, were able to walk unaided immediately upon their return to Earth.

ISBN: 978-1-898541-19-6
Aulis Publishers, January, 2019
English translation from the Russian by BigPhil

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Internet links verified January 10, 2018

  1. Y. Golovanov, The Truth about the Apollo program, EXMO Press, 2000, ISBN 9785815301061 (Rus.) See Chapter X, Afterword “Handshake In Orbit”
  2. a) Y.I. Mukhin, AntiApollo, Moscow, “Yauza”, “EKSMO”, 2005, 425p
    b) Y.I. Mukhin, The Moon Hoax or where did Americans go? 2nd edition, Moscow, “Algorithm”, 2009
  3. The Americans never went to the Moon
  4. Reasons that encouraged the US to perpetrate the hoax, and the consequences of the exposure
  5. A.V. Kudryavets, Historical context of the moon race
  6. A.I. Popov, USSR helps the USA to win the moon race
    A.I. Popov, Moon race: competition of two systems or 'selling' the Moon to the Americans
    A.I. Popov, The massacre of the Soviet moon rockets
    A.I. Popov, For the advocates of N1 destruction
  7. A.I. Popov, The role of the USSR leadership in the NASA’s Moon hoax
  8. Expedition Apollo-Soyuz Dossier
  9. Détente, Wikipedia. See the section Apollo-Soyuz-Hand Shake in Space
  10. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, Wikipedia
  11. Kremlin, Leonid Brezhnev meets with Apollo-Soyuz crews
  12. Avtovzglyad.ru: As a politician he is useless, but [he is] an ace driver
  13. New York Times 1972
  14. The Nixon Foundation 2013

English translation references:

T-1. Agreement concerning cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes

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