Space Flight Europe-America 500 was a goodwill mission conceived in 1992 as the first private, commercial spaceflight by the Russian Foundation for Social Inventions and TsSKB-Progress, a Russian rocket-building company, to increase trade between Russia and USA, and promote use of technology once reserved only for military forces.
The idea of a space launch to be carried out in the International Space Year, the 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the Americas, the 35th anniversary of the Earth's first artificial satellite launch, and the 35th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Community, belonged to Alexander Bazlov, a spacecraft designer, and was supported by Gennady Alferenko, the President of the Foundation for Social Inventions.
The effort was pulled off by the private sector, with the support of the governments from both countries. Money for the launch was raised from a collection of Russian companies who paid the military for the hardware.
On November 16, 1992, at 0:52 a.m. MSK, a Soyuz rocket fired a 8-foot-diameter (2.4 m), 5,152-pound spherical Resurs-500 capsule similar to the one flown by Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, from Russia's once-secret Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
The satellite orbited the Earth for seven days before parachuting into the Pacific Ocean about 120 miles off Grays Harbor on the Washington state coast on November 22 at 10:32 a.m. PST. The space capsule was scooped up and brought to Seattle by a 680-foot Russian missile-tracking ship Marshal Krylov.
The ship docked at 9 a.m. November 24 at Pier 42 of the Port of Seattle.1
|Tracking & Recovery Ship|
|Marshal Krylov||TS - Russian Tracking Ship||U/K||Y|
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