In his Oral History, U.S. Mir astronaut Michael Foale describes his frame of mind and his mental approach to beginning his residency onboard Mir.
He says, "So I arrived on Mir in a very relaxed and . . . resilient frame of mind . . . [Mir is] a bit like a frat house, but more organized and better looked after . . .
"Dealing with that and then dealing with the kind of camping out, . . . my whole frame of mind was, 'This is not a shuttle flight. This is long duration. This is like being sent to Russia. So in the first two or three weeks, if I don't get all these [experiments and] things done, it's not a problem. . . .'
". . . I wasn't going to get myself into this big personal punishment cycle where you punish yourself for not having achieved all those things they thought we could have achieved, because I just treated it as an experiment in people living in space, and I would just do my best-faith attempt in like the ten hours of the day that I was working, seriously, to try and do what I could.
"But once ten hours were over, I was going to go wash, I was going to exercise, and I was going to go to bed, and I was going to eat comfortably and talk to my crew members. I was not going to kill myself at the beginning of a four-and-a-half-month flight.
"As a result, I was pretty comfortable with the crew. I liked the crew. I was spending time talking to them. Sometimes in the afternoon Sasha Lazutkin would find me and say, 'Mike, you want to drink tea?; Because I told him I like to drink tea for a ten-minute break. . . . Then we'd go back to doing whatever we were doing.
"That was kind of the existence I had up to the collision."
Profile: Michael Foale
Michael Foale Oral History (PDF)
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