Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
At the height of the Cold War, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union prevented contact between the two countries’ scientific communities. In 1972, mounting Soviet desire to project an image of technical parity and a U.S. effort to reduce nuclear tensions led to the approval of a proposed joint space-exploration mission. The ensuing Apollo-Soyuz Test Project became the breakthrough encounter between the Soviet and American scientific communities, laying the groundwork for an ongoing exchange of ideas and research. Despite political conflict, the scientific exchange established by the Test Project continues to this day.