Astronauts from Different Countries Living and Learning Together

Going into a space is a dangerous, beautiful, and challenging task that requires some of the best minds in the world to work together in order to succeed and survive in space. When humans first started to venture into space, there was a lot of competition between the countries involve, specifically the US and Russia. However, those things began to change, and there are several examples of astronauts learning from each other. In fact, a large portion of modern manned-spaceflights involve an international team of astronauts.

Apollo–Soyuz Test Project
The Apollo–Soyuz Test Project was one of the first instances of astronauts from different countries learning from each other. The project occurred in 1975 when an American Apollo space craft hooked up with a Russian Soyuz capsule while in order. The project required American and Russian engineers to work together in order to design crafts that would be compatible in space. It also required the astronauts from both countries to communicate with each other while guiding the crafts together. This project was used as a global symbol of warming relations between the US and Russia, and both countries political commitment to detente.

Shuttle–Mir Program
This was followed by the exceptionally successful Shuttle–Mir Program. Over the course of the next two decades the American space shuttle regularly flew supplies and astronauts to the Russian space station Mir. This effort was joined by the international community. Astronauts from America, Europe, and Russian began to train with each other on the ground, and it became almost required for an astronaut to visit the training compounds of at least one other country. Japan and Korea began to extensively train at the US’s training facilities and have sent several astronauts into space. The high-point of this program was when the Mir-2 space station was merged with the American Freedom station in 1998. This symbolized the beginning of things to come, like the International Space Station.

International Space Station
The ISS is the largest man-made object to ever be constructed in outer space. This program is unique in that persons from all over the world took part in the program from the very beginning. This included things like the concept, design, engineering, and designating a purpose for the craft. The parts for the International Space Station come from America, Europe, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea, and Canada. The International Space Station space station has been visited by astronauts from twelve different countries, and there is always a mixed group of astronauts working together inside of the ISS.

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