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Because of the difference is the countries’ spacecraft structure, American and Soviet engineers had to work to modify each. They alsoconstructed the Docking Module,the docking system which wascarried into orbit by the Apollo.This module would later becomethe foundation for the standard international docking system used today. On July 17, 1975, two days after Soyuz 19 was launched from Baikonur and the Apollo was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, the two spacecrafts came into contact and carried out a 14
successful docking. Cosmonaut Leonov reported to Earth, “Soyuz andApollo are shaking hands now,” a phrase that undoubtedly contained political significance (Rumerman). The Apollo-Soyuz test project set the stage for future technological relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The U.S. began the Space Shuttle program with the hopes of building a reusable winged spacecraft that would be able to deliver resources to orbiting laboratories and space stations. Although this program began in 1972, instituted by President Nixon, the first space shuttle, Columbia, didn’t launch until 1981. Within this time frame, the Soviets worked to develop and upgrade the Soyuz and in 1986, they used the Soyuz to begin building space station Mir. A year after the fall of the Soviet Union, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Yeltsin announced new space exploration plans; flying an astronaut the Mir space station. Two years later, President Clinton expanded U.S. – Relations by inviting Russia into thebuilding of the International Space Station (ISS), along with Europe, Canada, and Japan. The building of the ISS utilized Mir. Building the ISS also required Russia to adhere to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which “sought to stop the proliferation of missile technology.” The MTCR objected to a contract that Russia had with India that consisted of Russia giving India advanced rocket engines, technology, and information. The U.S. required Russia to reformat the15
contract, and Russia claimed that do so would cost 400 million dollars.The U.S. agreed to pay Russia 400 million dollars for their cooperationin the ISS while Russia agreed to restructure the contract with India to abide by the MTCR ( U.S. Government). Currently, the progress of the ISS is in great jeopardy. The 2003 Columbia disaster in which 7 crewmembers were killed when thespace craft exploded caused the grounding of the U.S. Space Shuttle program. With the grounding of the Shuttle, the U.S. has become dependent on the Russian Soyuz and other Russian transport capabilities. Unfortunately, after April of 2006, the U.S. will no longer be able to pay for ISS programmed flights on the Soyuz because of theIran Non-Proliferation Act (INA) (The Economist). Enacted in 2000, the INA was constructed to stop“foreign transfers to Iran of weapons of mass destruction, missile technology, and advanced convention weapons, particularly from Russia. Section 6 of the INA bans U.S. payments to Russia in connection with the ISS unless the U.S. President