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The U. S. and Soviet/Russian space programs have been documented on film and video. This Web site offers a short "tour" of that moving history, focusing on events that led up to and through the Shuttle-Mir Program.
You may follow the tour or you may choose the links in any order. Many other videos are available for viewing in Multimedia. More on the history of space flight can be found in History.
Flight (27 sec.)
MPEG (2.0M) (Partial Audio)
Yuri Gagarin's single orbit around Earth, on April 12, 1961, demonstrated that the Soviets were ahead in the space race with the U. S.
Mercury 7 & Shepard's Launch
(57 sec.) MPEG (4.3M) (Partial Audio)
The U.S. space program answered the Soviet challenge with Project Mercury's seven astronauts and Alan Shepard's sub-orbital flight, May 5, 1961.
Moon Speech (12 sec.)
MPEG (881K) (Full Audio)
On May 25, 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy called upon the nation to send astronauts to the moon.
Soviet EVA (25 sec.) MPEG
(1.8M) (Full Audio)
Gemini 4 Spacewalk (22 sec.) MPEG (1.6M) (No Audio)
Extravehicular activities (spacewalks) are needed to construct and repair space stations. Both the Soviets and the Americans conducted their first EVAs in the spring of 1965.
6 & 7 Rendezvous (29 sec.)
MPEG (2.1M) (No Audio)
Two spacecraft meeting in orbit require exact launch times and careful maneuvering. Gemini capsules 6 and 7 came within 30 centimeters of each other on Dec. 15, 1965. Frank Borman and James Lovell spent more than 13 days onboard Gemini 7, to set a record for long-duration flight.
11 (1 min. 32 sec.)
MPEG (6.6M) (Full Audio)
In July 1969, the "Eagle" lunar lander set two American astronauts on the Moon. Afterwards, the Soviets turned their main attention to long-duration flights. NASA sent ten more astronauts to the surface of the Moon, then began to develop a reusable space vehicle: the Space Shuttle.
Video (1 min.)
MPEG (4.4M) (No Audio)
In 1973, NASA converted a Saturn rocket upper stage into a large space laboratory. Three 3-man crews spent a total of 171 days in long-duration spaceflight.
|Mir-18 (47 sec.)
MPEG (3.5M) (Partial Audio)
Astronaut Norm Thagard was the only American to launch in a Russian Soyuz and the first American to spend a residency on the Mir space station, completing 115 days in orbit, in 1995.
Docking (43 sec.) MPEG
(3.2M) (Full Audio)
(1 min. 30 sec.) MPEG (6.7M) (No Audio)
This silent "flying tour" of Mir and the Shuttle gives a good sense of the size and complexity of the two docked spacecraft in November 1995.
Lucid Mir Tour (1 min. 39 sec.) MPEG (6.9M) (Full Audio)
Astronaut Shannon Lucid narrates a tour of the Mir space station where she set an American record of 188 days in orbit in 1996.
|Mir-22/23 (45 sec.) MPEG
(3.3M) (Full Audio)
Linenger Fire Description (40 sec.)
MPEG (3.0M) (Full Audio)
Mir Astronaut Jerry Linenger describes the fire that took place during his residency in February 1997.
Collision (1 min. 3 sec.)
MPEG (4.7M) (Full Audio)
Foale: Spektr Loss (30 sec.)
MPEG (2.2M) (Full Audio)
Mir Astronaut Mike Foale comments on the event and the consequences of the Progress supply vehicle's collision with Mir in June 1997.
Lessons Learned (24 sec.)
MPEG (1.8M) (Full Audio)
Mir Astronaut David Wolf discusses the lessons of the Shuttle-Mir Program.
(1 min. 54 sec.) MPEG
(8.5M) (Full Audio)
The final Shuttle flight to Mir brought back the last Mir Astronaut, Andy Thomas, after he spent 130 days in orbit in 1998.
Tours | Timeline | Shuttle-Mir Background | Shuttle Flights & Mir Increments | Mir Expeditions
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty