Vladimir Dezhurov commanded Mir-18, the three-man Mir mission that included the first American, NASA astronaut Norm Thagard. Dezhurov, Thagard, and Mir-18 flight engineer Gennady Strekalov launched to Mir aboard a Soyuz capsule; they returned to Earth on a space shuttle on STS-71. It was the first time a Mir crew returned to Earth via the shuttle.
Dezhurov graduated from aviation military school in 1983 and served as a pilot and senior pilot in the Air Force. In 1987, he joined the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.
NASA Biography: Vladimir Dezhurov
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