Charles J. Precourt
Charlie Precourt flew to the Russian Space Station Mir three times: twice as commander and once as pilot. Precourt commanded STS-91, the ninth and final space shuttle mission to dock with Mir. That flight returned astronaut Andrew Thomas to Earth onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery after his 4½ month residency on the station. Precourt also led the crew of STS-84 on the sixth Shuttle-Mir docking mission. This mission on the Space Shuttle Atlantis transported astronaut Mike Foale to the Russian outpost and returned with Jerry Linenger. Earlier, Precourt served as pilot aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis for STS-71 that was the first Shuttle-Mir docking mission and the flight that brought Norm Thagard, the first American Mir astronaut, back to Earth.
Also, Precourt served as Director of Operations in Star City, Russia, where he was responsible for the coordination and implementation of Phase 1 mission operation activities between Russia and NASA. Precourt became an astronaut in 1991. Prior to his NASA career, he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training and the United States Air Force Test Pilot School.
Precourt earned a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master of Science in engineering management from Golden Gate University, and a Master of Arts in national security affairs and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College. In his Oral History, Precourt said: "When you look back on it, the fact that we're able to work so well with the Russians really bodes well for what we're going to be doing in the future. I think most of us were a little skeptical in the beginning that we could really cooperate that well with them and solve the technical problems, because cultures are so different and the people are different in their approach to things. "And yet in spite of all that, we didn't have enormous problems to make two spaceships that weren't built to come together and make them actually come together. So I thought it was a really neat experience."
NASA Biography: Charles Precourt
Charles Precourt Oral History (PDF)
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