Shuttle-Mir Stories

Astronauts Norman E. Thagard and Bonnie J. Dunbar in cosmonaut space suits in the Training Simulator Facility at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center(Star City), near Moscow, Russia.

Thagard on Training

Norman Thagard, the first U.S. Mir astronaut, comments in his Oral History about training in Russia. Among other aspects, he describes winter survival training, which he might have used had he needed to return to Earth in a Soyuz capsule.

Thagard says, "It was still very much winter, even though it was March . . . and winter survival was actually done right there on the [Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center] site . . . out in the woods. They basically take a Soyuz capsule that's been immersed in hot water, to simulate the conditions that it would be under if it had just returned from space, and then they carry it out there and plop it in the snow . . ." Thagard, his backup Bonnie Dunbar, and cosmonaut Vladimir Dezhurov got into the capsule, and practiced coping with Russian winter conditions.

Related Links:

Soyuz
Training
Thagard on Testing
Thagard Increment

Profile: Norman Thagard
Norm Thagard Oral History (PDF)


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