Soviet cosmonauts, Colonel Alexei Leonov and Valery Kubasov--veterans of last summer's historic Soyuz-Apollo space link-up--ended their whirlwind two-week goodwill tour of the United States on Monday (20 October) with a visit to the plant where all Apollo spacecraft are made.
SCU Tom Stafferd and other spacemen meeting employees of Saturn rocket making firm
CU & SV Astronauts and cosmonauts signing wet cement blocks for wall of Fame (4 shots)
SVs Astronauts and cosmonauts posing for newsmen of step of Apollo capsule
Initials CL/0036 1745/2010/0103
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Soviet cosmonauts, Colonel Alexei Leonov and Valery Kubasov--veterans of last summer's historic Soyuz-Apollo space link-up--ended their whirlwind two-week goodwill tour of the United States on Monday (20 October) with a visit to the plant where all Apollo spacecraft are made.
Together with their United States counterparts, flight commander Brigadier-General Tom Stafford, Donald Slayton and Vance Brand, the two men toured the giant Rockwell Corporation factory at Downey, California, and met a number of the firm's employees.
Inside the plant, the cosmonauts to part in a ceremony familiar to all United States astronauts. They signed their autographs in blocks of wet concrete to add to Rockwell's rock of space fame.
Before leaving for Washington to prepare for their journey home to the Soviet Union, Leonov and Kubasov made a nostalgic visit to the Apollo craft used in the space link-up, now on show at the Rockwell plant.
For Commander stafford, there was an unexpected surprise, when an official returned the lucky silver dollar the astronaut had lost during the mission.
The cosmonauts's tour of U.S. cities and institutions followed a recent seven-city tour of the Soviet Union by the three astronauts, which took them to the vast Soviet space control complex of Star City, near Moscow.