Apollo and Soyuz meet in space

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On this day in 1975, as part of a project aimed at developing space rescue capability, the U.S. spacecraft Apollo and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 rendezvous and dock in space. As the hatch was opened between the two vessels, commanders Thomas P. Stafford and Aleksei Leonov shook hands and exchanged gifts in celebration of the first such meeting in space between the two Cold War adversaries. During the 44 hour Apollo-Soyuz embrace, the astronauts and cosmonauts conducted experiments, shared meals and held a joint news conference.