It took 14 years after the start of manned space exploration for an American and a Soviet spaceship to hook up, and this was the Soyuz rocket which delivered the Soviet half of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project in 1974.

Cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov met astronauts Tom Stafford, Vance Brand and Deke Slayton in low Earth orbit—the latter making his first and only spaceflight after being selected for Project Mercury in 1959 then grounded after being diagnosed with idiopathic atrial fibrillation, a heart condition.

Apollo equipment is ancient history now, but Soyuz rockets are still kicking, so much so that they have a new home in South America. The first rocket from the new Soyuz launch pad at Guiana Space Center was launched on October 21. With its alien floral looks when sideways for transport, it must have looked fabulous in French Guiana’s equatorial wilderness.

H/T to Scanzen