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ASTP Status Report, January 1975

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1974 | 1975

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  •  Dr. Christopher C. Kraft served as the Director of Johnson Space Center from 1972 to 1982. Instrumental in establishing NASA’s mission control operation, the Mission Control Center was renamed in his honor in 2011.  
  •  Apollo flight crews lead the training sessions of their Soviet counterparts 
  •  Duality of language 
  •  Social outing in San Antonio, including a visit to the Alamo 
  •  Development and testing of flight hardware 
  •  Space Environment Simulation Laboratory at Johnson Space Center in Houston 
  •  Exchanges of Soviet and American engineers and specialists 
  •  Flight control training at the Mission Control Center 
  •  Satellite relay system 
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Produced for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this government film reviews the progress made towards the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) by January 1975. Beyond reviewing the development and testing of flight hardware, this report also includes coverage of joint training sessions. In September 1974, Soviet flight crews traveled to Johnson Space Center in Houston to acquaint themselves with Apollo systems and practice crew transfer procedures. (The American crews traveled to Moscow for similar training in July.) Throughout, the film highlights the exchange of knowledge between the United States and the Soviet Union, from the collaboration of personnel to the sharing of language. Conducted in July 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the first international manned space mission, involving the docking of an American Apollo spacecraft with a Soviet Soyuz one.
As the scope of the American space program grew, NASA’s Space Task Group realized it would need to expand into its own facility if it were to successfully land a man on the Moon. In 1961, the agency’s selection team chose a 1,000-acre cow pasture in Houston, Texas, as the proposed center’s location site, owing to its access to water transport and commercial jet service, moderate climate, and proximity to Rice University. In September 1963, the facility opened as the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). 
The Center became the focal point of NASA’s manned spaceflight program, developing spacecraft for Projects Gemini and Apollo, selecting and training astronauts, and operating the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. Beginning with Gemini 4 in June 1965, MSC’s Mission Control Center also took over flight control duties from the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As a result, the facility managed all subsequent manned space missions, including those related to Projects Gemini and Apollo, the Apollo Applications Program, the Space Shuttle Orbiters, and the International Space Station.
In 1973, the MSC was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson. (As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson sponsored the 1958 legislation that established NASA.) The Center continues to lead NASA’s efforts in space exploration, training both American and international astronauts, managing missions to and from the International Space Station, and operating scientific and medical research programs.