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Shuttle-Mir Background/Cooperation Timeline 1962 - 1993

Despite the well-publicized competition between the U.S. and Soviet/Russian space programs, cooperation has existed between the two countries:

1962. U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev begin talks to discover ways to pool their efforts in space.

1964. The U.S. and Soviet Union conclude an agreement to exchange information on space biology and space medicine.

1966-67. The "Outer Space Treaty" governing space activities is negotiated through the UN General Assembly and signed.

1970. Discussions begin concerning methods to provide common docking mechanisms to ensure astronaut and cosmonaut safety.

1971. An agreement to exchange lunar samples and biomedical and weather data is announced.

1972. President Richard Nixon and Premier Alexei Kosygin sign the "Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes." The joint U.S.-Soviet mission becomes officially known as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

1975. Soyuz and Apollo dock in Earth orbit.

1978. A joint Salyut-Shuttle mission is proposed at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Suggested means of docking a Shuttle with a Salyut space station are outlined. A Shuttle-Salyut mission with a Spacelab module in the Shuttle payload bay is also mentioned.

1991. Presidents George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev sign an agreement calling for the first U.S.-Soviet manned space flights since Apollo-Soyuz, including a visit by a U.S. astronaut aboard a Soyuz-TM spacecraft and a flight by a Russian cosmonaut on a Shuttle mission. They also discuss the possibility of a U.S. module for the Mir space station.

1992. The chiefs of the U.S. and Russian space programs sign the Joint Statement on Cooperation in Space, which details a Shuttle mission to visit Mir, a stay by a U.S. astronaut aboard Mir on a mission dominated by life sciences experiments, and U.S. participation on the unmanned Mars 94 mission.

1993. Subsequent additions to the Shuttle-Mir portions of the 1992 agreement expand the cooperation to include and extend NASA-Mir program, including up to 10 Shuttle rendezvous with Mir and plans for an International Space Station to include the Russia.

Related Links:
Apollo-Soyuz
Mir Hardware Heritage

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty