1995: Who was the First American Launched into Space in a Russian Rocket?

1995: Who was the First American Launched into Space in a Russian Rocket?
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 14. March 1995
  • It is interesting that the Soviets developed R-7 ballistic missiles during the Cold War based on intercontinental R-7 ballistic missiles that were intended for hitting U.S. targets with nuclear warheads.

On this day an American NASA astronaut flew into space on a Russian ship for the first time in histroy. His name was Norman Thagard, and he was launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a Soyuz-U2 rocket.

It is interesting that the Soviets developed these missiles during the Cold War based on intercontinental R-7 ballistic missiles that were intended for hitting U.S. targets with nuclear warheads.

The Space mission in which Norman Thagard participated was marked as Soyuz TM-21 and its purpose was to bring astronauts to the space station Mir. Another two Russian astronauts traveled with Thagard (being Soviets, they actually used the term “cosmonauts”).

Norman Thagard / Wikipedia Commons
Norman Thagard / Wikipedia Commons

When they all successfully came to the station Mir, it was the first time in history that as many as 13 people were in space simultaneously (the mentioned three, three that were aboard Mir prior to their coming, and seven more in the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis).

It is interesting that Norman Thagard returned to Earth after 115 days in space, using the space shuttle Atlantis. In fact, he returned with the same two Russians with whom he took off from Baikonur. Of course, for the Russians, this was their first ride in a U.S. Space Shuttle.

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