(via Popular Mechanics) When the Russian Soyuz spacecraft blasted into orbit for the first time, Lyndon Johnson was the president and Star Trek made its television debut. Fast-forward 50 years and Russia’s most famous spacecraft is still in business, outliving all of its contemporaries—and even some of its much more capable successors. Today, Russia’s space workhorse remains the only available taxi to the International Space Station, with agencies like NASA paying millions of dollars for their astronauts to ride on the venerable design. Yet the Soyuz spacecraft almost died before it was born.
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