In July 1975, when an American spacecraft docked with a Soviet capsule, cosmonauts and astronauts shook hands 225 kilometers above the Earth to symbolize détente between the superpowers. This dramatic act contributed to hopes that space cooperation could be used to overcome geopolitical tensions below. In reality, the mission took place right before a new, intensified phase in superpower military space competition—a competition that lasted until the end of the Cold War.
This article was written by Aaron Bateman and originally published by The Bulletin For The Atomic Scientists.
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