U.S. astronauts Lt. General Thomas Stafford and Vance Brand, and Russian cosmonauts General Alexsei Leonov and Valery Kubasov, joined Omega in New York City in a two-day celebration of the 35th anniversary of the historic Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission, during which the astronauts and cosmonauts wore the Omega Speedmaster Professional.
The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flew in July, 1975 and marked a high-point for detente. It was the last Apollo mission and the first joint U.S.-Soviet mission. Engineering teams from both sides developed the docking module to link the two spacecraft, and it was there that Apollo commander Stafford (below right) and Soyuz-19 commander Leonov met and shook hands. The event was broadcast live on global television and it was captured 16mm film. The frame below became an iconic image symbolizing the dawn of a new age of superpower cooperation in space.
In New York City, Lt. General Stafford, Mr. Brand and Mr. Kubasov made a special appearance at the Omega Flagship Boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York City where they signed and donated 10 limited edition Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo-Soyuz “35th Anniversary” chronograph boxes to commemorate the mission’s historic anniversary. They also participated in a forum discussion, moderated by space expert Miles O’Brien, sharing their memories of their mission and the landmark “handshake in space.”
Later in the evening, Lt. General Stafford, Mr. Brand and Mr. Kubsaov joined Omega for a festive VIP dinner at the famed Russian restaurant Firebird on 46th St.
On Friday, July 16th, the astronauts and cosmonauts visited the Omega Tourbillon Boutique on Wall St. for a celebratory luncheon with Russian dignitaries and special guests, including Hon. Andrey K. Yushmanov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in NYC, Vladimir Kikilo, U.N. Bureau Chief, ITAR-TASS, and Metropolitan Opera singer Monica Yunus.
Lt. General Stafford, Mr. Brand and Mr. Kubasov then made a special appearance at the New York Stock Exchange, where they rang the day’s Closing Bell to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission.
The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo-Soyuz “35th Anniversary” chronograph will be released in a limited edition of 1,975 watches to commemorate the year the mission flew. The watch features a meteorite dial and engraved case back.