Aug. 12, 1962 NASA barely finished its victory lap before Russia showed what the first team could do. It would be hard to accomplish anything in space unless two or more spacecraft could meet in orbit to exchange equipment and link up for long-term stays. That's not easy when you're cruising at 17,500 m.p.h. in a cosmic wilderness the size of the universe. The Russians sent up cosmonauts Andrian Nikolayev and Pavel Popovich in separate ships to prove it could be done. Popovich, in Vostok 4, found Nikolayev on his very first orbit, passing within three miles of Vostok 3 as close as they could have dreamed of coming. John Glenn's historic mission suddenly looked like a lonely affair.