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Four Cover Set Commemorating Apollo/Soyuz and Shuttle/Mir

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A Set of Four First Day Covers From the Marshall Islands

The set of covers postmarked June 29 1995 feature four different stamps with colourful cachets.

The covers commemorate the Apollo/Soyuz Flight of 1975 and the first Shuttle/MIr mission in 1995.

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) flew in July 1975. It was the last Apollo mission, the first joint U.S./Sovietspace flight, and the last manned US space mission until the first Space Shuttle flight in April 1981.

Though the mission included both joint and separate scientific experiments (including an engineered eclipse of the Sun by Apollo for Soyuz to take photographs of the solar corona) and provided useful engineering experience for future joint US/Russian space flights such as the Shuttle-Mir Program and the International Space Station, its primary purpose was symbolic. ASTP was a symbol of détente (relaxing or easing) that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time, and it ended the tension of the Space Race.

This was astronaut Deke Slayton's only flight. He was chosen as one of the original Mercury Seven in April 1959 but had been grounded until 1972 for medical reasons.

The Shuttle–Mir Program was a collaborative space program between Russia and the United States, which involved American Space Shuttles visiting the Russian space stationMir, Russian cosmonauts flying on the shuttle and an American astronaut flying aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to engage in long-duration expeditions aboard Mir.

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