Legacy of "Columbus' Star"


Europe America Space Flight 500 capsule on display at the Museum of Flight, 2009

A historic attempt at reconciliation after nearly five decades of the Cold War, Europe America Space Flight 500's goals spanned both Soviet and post-Soviet periods, and were largely successful.

The mission suffered some setbacks in the post-1991 environment. Space Flight 500's economic returns were largely disappointing as the Europe America 500 Consortium failed to come to fruition and the new, foreign frontier for Russian high-tech businesses never materialized.

Economics aside, Space Flight 500 showed that Cold War strategies of building personal connections was applicable to the post-war world. It channeled the energy and spirit of earlier citizen-diplomat groups to successfully culivate lasting bonds between the United States and Russia, and added another chapter to Seattle's legacy as a site of forging international relations.

Furthermore, Space Flight 500 exemplified the post-war potential of adapting military equipment for peacetime use. This practice of conversion became very successful; through the 21st century Soyuz rockets, KA-27 helicopters, and the Plesetsk spaceport continue to see regular use for non-military purposes.

The image of Europe America Space Flight 500 live on as a symbol of the end of the Cold War, peace and prosperity, and former adversaries striving for a connected future.