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The Magna Carta of Space: Cooperation in Space Document - Certificate of Docking Signed by Crew Members of the First International Space Mission 

This Certificate of Docking, signed in space by the crew members of the Apollo-Soyuz expedition July 17 1975, documents the first U.S.-Soviet joint space mission. Signed by Thomas P. Stafford, Donald “Deke” Slayton, Vance Brand, Alexi Leonov, and Valeri Kubaso, this document marks the beginning of the end to Cold War hostilities between both countries. 

The “Space Magna Carta” set the stage for this new multinational approach to space exploration. As part of a joint agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union two manned spacecraft were launched, one from Kazakhstan (Soyuz), the other from Florida (Apollo). Both craft planned to rendezvous in orbit. Engineers from both sides worked together in the development and construction of the unit that linked the two spacecraft together. The joint effort was a remarkable success: For two days, crew members visited each other, ate meals together, and, in a symbolic gesture, reconnected two pieces of a plaque, one brought by each crew. The mission ushered in future joint operations in space.

As the Cooperation in Space document notes, “the flight crews…share the hope that this first International Manned space flight will stand in the light of history as a significant advance in the ability of the nations to work together in ways that advance the interests of people everywhere.” 

Shannon Lucid Training Spacesuit

By 1994, Shanon Lucid had been a U.S. astronaut for 15 years, and had flown four shuttle missions. Her most amazing achievement was still to come, however. One Friday Lucid received an intriguing phone call from her boss, Robert "Hoot" Gibson, then  the head of NASA's astronaut office. He asked her if she would be interested in starting full-time Russian-language instruction. Gibson told her that this did not mean she was going to Russia, but Lucid knew what his request meant. With the Mir mission in the works, Lucid immediately agreed to study Russian full-time.

The Mir mission was less than a year and a half away. In that time, Lucid had to master Russian, learn the operating systems for Mir and Soyuz, the station's transport craft, and maintain her familiarity with the American technology. As if that were not enough, she  also had to perfect the series of experiments she would be conducting while in orbit.

After three months of intensive study, Lucid received the go-ahead to start training at Star City, the cosmonaut training center outside Moscow. And in February of 1996, after she passed all the required medical and technical exams, the Russian Space Flight Commission certified Lucid as a Mir crew member. On March 22, 1996, Lucid lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on the shuttle Atlantis. Three days later the shuttle docked with Mir, and she officially joined the space station crew for what was planned to be a four-and-a-half-month stay.

Lucid, who holds the American record for days spent in space at 223, recalls this amazing experience: "When I reflect on my six months on Mir, I have no shortage of memories. But there is one that captures the legacy of the Shuttle-Mir program. One evening Onufriyenko, Usachev and I were floating around the table after supper. We were drinking tea, eating cookies and talking. The cosmonauts were very curious about my childhood in Texas and Oklahoma. Onufriyenko talked about the Ukrainian village where he grew up, and Usachev reminisced about his own Russian village. After a while we realized we had all grown up with the same fear: an atomic war between our two countries… After talking about our childhoods some more, we marveled at what an unlikely scenario had unfolded. Here we were, from countries that were sworn enemies a few years earlier, living together on a space station in harmony and peace. And, incidentally, having a great time."

This Sokol-KV2 spacesuit was used by Shannon Lucid in Russia during training for her mission to Mir. She is the only woman ever awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.  

Vostok 6 Voice Box

Valentina Tereshkova parachuted out of over 125 aircraft before she jumped out of the Vostok-6. What began as a hobby led to her selection for cosmonaut training and her achievement of becoming the first woman in space. When Tereshkova was selected for the Soviet space program in 1962, she became the first person to be recruited without experience as a test pilot. Her selection was instead based on her parachuting skills.

Assigned to be the pilot of the Vostok 6 mission, she was given the radio name, "Chaika," which is Russian for seagull. Vostok-6 lifted off from Tyuratam Launch Center (Baikonur Cosmodrome) on June 16, 1963. It remained in space for nearly three days and orbited the Earth 48 times, once every 88 minutes. Unlike earlier Soviet space flights, Tereshkova was permitted to operate the controls manually.

The craft reentered the earth's atmosphere on June 19. Tereshkova parachuted to the ground, as was typical of cosmonauts at that time. She landed approximately 380 miles northeast of Qaraghandy, Kazakhstan. It was Tereshkova's only parachute jump from a spacecraft as she ended her career as a cosmonaut after that flight. But in that one flight she became the first woman in space and the first woman in orbit. It was 19 years until another woman, Svetlana Savitskaya, flew into space aboard Soyuz-T 7. Tereshkova later became a member of the Communist party and a representative of the Soviet government.

This voice box recorded the transmissions of  Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, during her groundbreaking flight on Vostok-6 in 1963.


Official Signed Report of the First Man in Space

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was called "The Columbus of The Cosmos," an apt and well-deserved title. His epic 108 minute earth-orbital0-flight on April 12,1961 was far more than just a successful operational mission. It was man's first encounter with the nether regions of space and the beginning of man's journey to the stars. As pilot of the spaceship Vostok 1, he proved that man could endure the rigors of lift-off, re-entry, and weightlessness, and yet still perform the manual operations essential to spacecraft flight.

Gagarin was superbly prepared for his encounter with history, both physically and technologically. On the night before his flight, while others paced and worried, "Cosmonaut One" slumbered. When asked how he could sleep so peacefully on the eve of the launching, Yuri answered, "Would it be right to take off if I were not rested? It was my duty to sleep so I slept." This is discipline and dedication at its best.

At the conclusion of his flight, he was subjected to the most intensive debriefing and scientific examination. It was found that in spite of the difficult and strange weightless environment, his great skill permitted him to work and to record important data which his fellow astronauts and scientific collaborators would find vital to future space flights.

This report on the historic Vostok mission of April 12, 1961 was signed by the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, shortly after his return to earth.


Official Signed Report of the Apollo-Soyuz Mission
This report signed by all 5 cosmonauts and astronauts displays the Apollo-Soyuz mission as the bridge of cooperation that would inspire the current joint missions and International Space Station. An incredibly important document, confirming the "Magna Carta of Space".


P. 1: Space Collection Introduction
P. 2: Space Collection Featured Item
P. 3: Space Collection Collection Highlights
P. 4: Space Collection Inventory


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