Vladimir Beilin (Russian, 20th C.) “Soyuz-Apollo Docking in Space” Watercolor. Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood First Day of Issue Maximum Card for the Russia Soyuz-Apollo stamp issued May 29, 1992.
Its announced goal was to test a docking system designed for use in space rescue missions. But to the people of the United States and Soviet Union, the Soyuz-Apollo joint mission meant much more. First small warming trend in the Cold War, the mission began on July 15, 1975, with the launches of Soyuz and Apollo spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and Cape Canaveral just a few hours apart. The two craft took two days to maneuver into position for docking 140 miles above the surface of the Earth. Then, in an intricate series of rocket thrusts, the Apollo docking module successfully latched onto the Soyuz. In awkward Russian, astronaut Tom Stafford exulted “We have succeeded!” His Soviet counterpart Alexei Leonov responded in English “Good show!” In the festive atmosphere that followed, astronauts Stafford, Vance Brand and Donald Slayton greeted cosmonauts Leonov and Valery Kubasov with the first “handshake in space” and even shared a friendly meal of borscht aboard Soyuz.
Image Size: 8.5 x 12 in.
Overall Size: 10.25 x 15 in.