William F. Readdy
Bill Readdy commanded STS-79, the fourth Shuttle-Mir docking mission and the first that involved the exchange of American astronauts living on Mir. Readdy's crew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis arrived with John Blaha, transporting him for his stay aboard the Russian space station, and departed with Shannon Lucid, bringing her home after her record six month visit.
Also, Readdy had served as a 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. Prior to his career at NASA, Readdy served as a naval aviator in the United States Navy and attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He joined NASA as an aerospace engineer and instructor pilot before being selected as an astronaut in 1987.
In his Oral History, Readdy said: "… I remember somebody, when I flew my first flight in January of '92, called me up to the flight deck and said that, 'Hey, in five minutes you're going to be able to see the Mir go by,' because we were in similar-type orbits. So I remember floating up to the flight deck, and I saw the Mir go by, and I guess never would I have thought, given the political situation back then, never would I have thought in a million years that we'd be joining not only physically with the Shuttle-Mir, but also joined up in this International Space Station."
NASA Biography: William Readdy
William Readdy Oral History (PDF)
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