History Timeline 1990's

President Bush with Gulf War troops. Courtesy National Archives. Right: New York Stock Exchange in 1921 by Irving Underhill, Courtesy Library of Congress.

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U.S. Timeline - The 1990s

Prosperity as the World Turns



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  • 1995 - Detail

    June 29, 1995 - For the first time, the Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir.

    Space Shuttle Atlantis and Mir 1995

    Space Shuttle and the new Russian Ally

    When NASA's reusable spacecraft, the Space Shuttle Columbia, took its first flight on April 12, 1981, the thought of an ally in the Russian space program was, at best, a problematic thought. There was no Russian Federation, just the Soviet Union. There was still a Berlin Wall. But as the shuttle missions moved forward past the evolving nature of relations between the nations without those impediments, cooperation in space became more prevalent. By 1995, the thought of cooperation was now not only that, a thought, it was becoming a reality. Of course, in 1995, few people at NASA would have also thought that by 2011, there would be no space shuttle program or replacement, and that rides to space stations would be exclusively, at least through 2017, Russian.

    History of Space Station Mir

    The Soviet Union launched Mir on February 19, 1986 at 21:28:23 UTC. The core module would include the living quarters, engines, environmental systems, and control systems. Over the course of the next decade, Mir would be expanded. In 1987, an expansion module with work stations and experiment stations; in 1989, a second module with airlocks, an instrument and cargo compartment, and an instrument/experiment compartment; in 1990, a module with two main sections, one for materials processing and biotech and the other with two docking ports. By 1995, cooperation with the United States had begun. The first mission in May that would prepare the station for a joint Space Shuttle and Mir expedition. It would house living quarters for American astronauts and space for NASA experiments.

    What prompted the joint effort in the first place. NASA had been planning its space station Freedom since the early part of the 1980's to combat the presence of Mir. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union planned Mir-2 to replace the original. Once the Soviet Union fell and morphed into the Russian Federation, the Space Race ended, as well as Russian plans for a second station. In concert, some in the United States saw no need for Freedom with other nations beginning to rethink their own space station plans. In June 1992, President Bush and Boris Yeltsin agreed to joint exploration, using the Space Shuttle and Mir, in the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes. Other nations negotiated to join in the project as well, and eventual deployment of the International Space Station was agreed to in 1993. Until such time as that new station was ready, there would be joint Mir missions.




    Joint Effort, Space Shuttle and Mir, Docking on June 29, 1995

    STS-71 was the third mission in the program, but the first which culminated with the docking of the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Mir. Launched on June 27, 1995 from launch pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, the Space Shuttle delivered two replacement cosmonauts to the station and brought back two cosmonauts and one astronaut. Once docked, the station was the largest entity circling earth, and would remain in that position for five days. Overall, the mission, which was the 100th manned mission launched from Cape Canaveral, lasted 9 days, 19 hours, 23 minutes, and 9 seconds.

    Crew members on the Shuttle flight, its 69th mission, were Astronauts Robert L. Gibson, Charles J. Precourt, Ellen S. Baker, Gregory J. Harbaugh, and Bonnie J. Dunbar; plus Cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyev and Nikolai Budarin. Solovyev and Budarin would remain on Mir, with Cosmonauts Gennady Strekalov and Vladimir Dezhurov returning home, plus Astronaut Norman E. Thagard.

    Unique facts about the STS-71 mission. Payloads included Spacelab, an IMAX camera, and a Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment. The mission traveled 4.1 million miles. When the Shuttle landed at Cape Canaveral on Runway 15, it took 8,364 feet to stop. Total time spent docked with the Russian station, 100 hours.

    Shuttle missions would continue until the last mission in July of 2011, with the International Space Station replacing Mir as the destination. From 2011 until today, 2017, American Astronauts must hitch a ride with a Russian craft.

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    Full Text of APPENDIX A1: Agreement Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes (June 17, 1992)


    The United States of America and the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the Parties; Considering the role of the two states in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes; Desiring to make the results of the exploration and use of outer space available for the benefit of the peoples of the two states and of all peoples of the world; Considering the respective interest of the Parties in the potential for commercial applications of space technologies for the general benefit; Taking into consideration the provisions of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies, and other multilateral agreements regarding the exploration and use of outer space to which both states are Parties; Expressing their satisfaction with cooperative accomplishments in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, earth sciences, space biology and medicine, solar system exploration and solar terrestrial physics, as well as their desire to continue and enhance cooperation in these and other fields; Have agreed as follows:

    Article I - The Parties, through their implementing agencies, shall carry out civil space cooperation in the fields of space science, space exploration, space applications and space technology on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit. Cooperation may include human and robotic space flight projects, ground-based operations and experiments and other activities in such areas as:

    - Monitoring the global environment from space; Space Shuttle and Mir Space Station missions involving the participation of U.S. astronauts and Russian cosmonauts; Safety of space flight activities; Space biology and medicine; and, Examining the possibilities of working together in other areas, such as the exploration of Mars.

    Article II - For purposes of developing and carrying out the cooperation envisaged in Article I of this Agreement, the Parties hereby designate, respectively, as their principal implementing agencies the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the United States and the Russian Space Agency for the Russian Federation. The Parties may designate additional implementing agencies as they deem necessary to facilitate the conduct of specific cooperative activities in the fields enumerated in Article I of this Agreement. Each of the cooperative projects may be the subject of a specific written agreement between the designated implementing agencies that defines the nature and scope of the project, the individual and joint responsibilities of the designated implementing agencies related to the project, financial arrangements, if any, and the protection of intellectual property consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.

    Article III - Cooperative activities under this Agreement shall be conducted in accordance with national laws and regulations of each party, and shall be within the limits of available funds.

    Article IV - The Parties shall hold annual consultations on civil space cooperation in order to provide a mechanism for government-level review of ongoing bilateral cooperation under this Agreement and to exchange views on such various space matters. These consultations could also provide the principal means for presenting proposals for new activities falling within the scope of this Agreement.

    Article V - This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the cooperation of either Party with other states and international organizations.

    Article VI - The Parties shall ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property created or furnished under this Agreement and relevant agreements concluded pursuant to Article II of this Agreement. Where allocation of rights to intellectual property is provided for in such agreements, the allocation shall be made in accordance with the Annex attached hereto which is an integral part of this Agreement. To the extent that it is necessary and appropriate, such agreements may contain different provisions for protection and allocation of intellectual property.

    Article VII - This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature by the Parties and shall remain in force for five years. It may be extended for further five-year periods by an exchange of diplomatic notes. This Agreement may be terminated by either Party on six months written notice, through the diplomatic channel, to the other Party.

    DONE at Washington, in duplicate, this seventeenth day of June, 1992, in the English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

    FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: George Bush

    FOR THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Boris Yeltsin

    ANNEX: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

    Pursuant to Article VI of this Agreement:

    The Parties shall ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property created or furnished under this Agreement and relevant agreements concluded pursuant to Article II of this Agreement. The Parties agree to notify one another in a timely fashion of any inventions or copyrighted works arising under this Agreement and to seek protection for such intellectual property in a timely fashion. Rights to such intellectual property shall be allocated as provided in this Annex.

    I. Scope - a. This annex is applicable to all cooperative activities undertaken pursuant to this Agreement, except as otherwise specifically agreed by the Parties or their designees.

    b. For purposes of this Agreement, "intellectual property" shall have the meaning found in Article 2 of the convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, done at Stockholm, July 14, 1967.

    c. This Annex addresses the allocation of rights, interests, and royalties between the Parties. Each Party shall ensure that the other Party can obtain the rights to intellectual property allocated in accordance with the Annex, by obtaining those rights from its own participants through contracts or other legal means, if necessary. This Annex does not otherwise alter or prejudice the allocation between a Party and its participants, which shall be determined by that Party's laws and practices.

    d. Disputes concerning intellectual property arising under this Agreement should be resolved through discussions between the concerned participating institutions or, if necessary, the Parties or their designees. Upon mutual agreement of the Parties, a dispute shall be submitted to an arbitral tribunal for binding arbitration in accordance with the applicable rules of international law. Unless the Parties or their designees agree otherwise in writing, the arbitration rules of UNCITRAL shall govern.

    e. Termination or expiration of this Agreement shall not affect rights or obligations under this Annex.

    II. Allocation of Rights

    a. Each party shall be entitled to a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in all countries to translate, reproduce, and publicly distribute scientific and technical journal Articles, reports, and books directly arising from cooperation under this Agreement. All publicly distributed copies of a copyrighted work prepared under this provision shall indicate the names of the authors of the work unless an author explicitly declines to be named.

    b. Rights to all forms of intellectual property, other than those rights described in Section II(a) above, shall be allocated as follows:

    1. Visiting researchers and scientists visiting primarily in furtherance of their education shall receive intellectual property rights under the policies of the host institution. In addition, each visiting researcher or scientist named as an inventor shall be entitled to share in a portion of any royalties earned by the host institution from the licensing of such intellectual property.

    2. (a) For intellectual property created during joint research with participation from the two Parties, for example, when the Parties, participating institutions, or participating personnel have agreed in advance on the scope of work, each Party shall be entitled to obtain all rights and interests in its own country. Rights and interests in third countries will be determined in agreements concluded pursuant to Article II of this Agreement. The rights to intellectual property shall be allocated with due regard for the economic, scientific and technological contributions from each Party to the creation of intellectual property. If research is not designated as "joint research" in the relevant agreement concluded pursuant to Article II of this Agreement, rights to intellectual property arising from the research shall be allocated in accordance with Paragraph IIb1. In addition, each person named as an inventor shall be entitled to share in a portion of any royalties earned by their institution from the licensing of the property.

    (b) Notwithstanding Paragraph IIb2(a), if a type of intellectual property is available under the laws of one Party but not the other Party, the Party whose laws provide for this type of protection shall be entitled to all rights and interests in all countries which provide rights to such intellectual property. Persons named as inventors of the property shall nonetheless be entitled to royalties as provided in Paragraph IIb2(a).

    III. Business-Confidential Information

    In the event that information identified in a timely fashion as business-confidential is furnished or created under the Agreement, each Party and its participants shall protect such information in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and administrative practice. Information may be identified as "businessconfidential" if a person having the information may derive an economic benefit from it or may obtain a competitive advantage over those who do not have it, the information is not generally known or publicly available from other sources, and the owner has not previously made the information available without imposing in a timely manner an obligation to keep it confidential.

    Photo above: Docking of the Space Shuttle Atlantis with the Russian Space Station Mir, June 29, 1995. Image Credit: NASA. Photo below: Space Shuttle Atlantis Mission Poster, Final Mission 7/8 to 7/21/2011, Courtesy NASA. Info source: NASA; Kennedy Space Center Science, Technology, and Engineering; Princeton.edu; Wikipedia Commons.

    NASA Space Shuttle



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