Last year something amazing took place, but it wasn’t in a laboratory.
Itwasn’t under the ocean, and it wasn’t on the land. It was in space. Thedocking of the United States’s Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian SpaceStation Mir was an important step towards international cooperation in space. This is not the first time the U. S.
has been in contact with Russia inspace matters. In 1965, an American Apollo capsule and a Russian Soyuz modulewere locked in orbital tango 245 miles above the earth, both crews tense withthe feeling of peace and rivalry at the same time. In the past few years,American astronauts have used the Russian training facility at the Cosmodrome toprepare for work on the Mir space station. We couldn’t give up the hope of peaceand freedom. Launch Day had arrived; June 29, 1995.Order now
During launch and ascent, therewasn’t much to think about except the thrill of the ride. Then the tension rose. In less than thirty-six hours, they would have to close a gap of four thousandmiles at an altitude of 245 miles while traveling at 17,500 miles per hour, onlyto have to move within three inches and two degrees of a quickly moving, veryfragile object in space. One small thrust of a poorly aligned engine could costone of four space-worthy shuttles and the world’s first and only long-term spacestation. Docking was over with soon, and was followed by the cosmonauts of Mirgreeting the astronauts of Atlantis. Gifts of flowers, candy and fruit weregiven by the Americans, who in return, following a Russian tradition, receivedgifts of bread and salt.
Knowing the importance of the mission, the Russians, aswell as the Americans, forced the good nature of the mission to be seen. Afteran exchange in the crew of Mir, Atlantis disengaged the docking clamps, andreturned home. This mission was important to the future of the conquest of space, forthe American scientists need help with the design of the planned InternationalSpace Station Freedom, and the Russians need help financing their space program. Both countries need the help of other countries and space agencies, like Canada,Japan, and the European Space Agency. With everyone working together, the futureis more easily reached.
As once said by United States President William J.Clinton, “We need to build a bridge to the future.” This mission is one of thesupports that will hold up that bridge.Category: Science