Encyclopedia Astronautica
1975.07.16 - ASTP - Rendezvous Maneuvers


Apollo and Soyuz modify their orbits in preparation for the docking in space planned for the next day.

As the Soyuz crew members prepared for the circularisation manoeuvre that would bring their spacecraft into a 225- by 225-kilometre orbit, the Apollo crew was awakened to the rock sounds of Chicago's "Good Morning Sunshine."

Medical reports and breakfast filled the first minutes of the Apollo crew's morning activities. With the exception of some minor frustrations like the slow functioning urine dump system and some spilled strawberry juice, everything was proceeding satisfactorily. Truly replaced Crippen and gave Brand the latest information on how to remove the probe.

Stafford came back on the air-to-ground communications loop at 9:55 a.m. to tell Houston that the probe was out. With that "glitch" solved, the crew members could return their attention to the flight plan. Preparation for televising pictures from the cabin and checking out the docking module were the next activities on the list. As they worked through their schedule, the Soviet crew members were transmitting their first television pictures with their colour camera.

Aboard Apollo, Stafford, Slayton, and Brand were settling into the routine of flight. Their day was filled with independent experiments (electrophoresis, helium glow, and earth observation) and collecting biomedical data. During the earth observation pass, Stafford told Bobko to inform Farouk El-Baz, the principal investigator for that experiment, that at ASTP altitude one could see far more detail than in Project Gemini, where Stafford and Cernan had flown at a higher altitude (+60 kilometres). The crew made another course change at 3:18 p.m. In anticipation of their big day on the 17th, the Apollo team bedded down a few minutes after eight, and the Soviet crew had been resting since about 2:50 that afternoon.

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