C.C.C.P. - U.S.A.

Few Franklin Mint Medals have much interest today, except their bullion value.

Every once a while - One stands out as a landmark to History.

This Medal just added to my collection recalls a time thirty years ago

when Astronauts and Cosmonauts met in space.

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

After mixed success of the Soyuz and Salyut programs, the Soviets dramatically scaled back the press coverage of their space programs.

Soyuz 19 was an exception. On 15 July 1975 Cosmonauts Leonov and Kubasov launched into orbit from the Soviet space center at Baikonur. Later that day, Apollo was launched as the active member in the docking sequence, with Soyuz essentially a passive target.

Astronauts Tom Stafford and Deke Slayton were responsible for maneuvering Apollo’s docking module onto Soyuz. After docking, the Apollo cabin pressures were adjusted for compatibility.

This was followed by the ceremonial handshake between the two crews which was broadcast around the world on live television. The two ships continued in orbit together for the next two days.

The sterling silver Franklin Mint medal portrays the five men who took part in the momentous event - Americans Slayton, Brand (top row) and Stafford (center); Russians Leomov and Kubasov (bottom). The inscription PARTNERS IN SPACE appears on the medal in both English and Russian.

On the reverse of the medal are the names of the five spacemen and the official symbol of their mission. 40mm .925 fine.