Anatoly Solovyev commanded two Mir flights during the Shuttle-Mir Program. The first was Mir 19, where he was in charge of the Russian crew that replaced Norm Thagard and his Mir-18 cosmonaut crewmates. Solovyev and Mir 19 Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin launched to the Russian space station aboard a Space Shuttle on STS-71, marking the first time a Mir crew was ferried to the station on an American spacecraft. Additionally, Solovyev was the commander of the Mir-24 mission, which lasted from August 5, 1997, until February 19, 1998. He and Mir-24 Flight Engineer Pavel Vinogradov worked with two American astronauts on the space station, beginning with Michael Foale. Foale's mission began with the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on May 15, 1997, and ended when he returned to Earth on October 6, 1997. He was replaced by David Wolf, whose mission started with the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 25, 1997, and came to a close when he returned to Earth on January 31, 1998.
Solovyev graduated from military aviation school in 1972. He joined the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in 1976 and completed his general space training in 1979. He is a veteran of five spaceflights and has made a record 15 EVAs, spending a total of 74 hours and 41 minutes space walking. Solovyev also commanded Mir during David Wolf's stay, and Wolf indicated high praise for Solovyev in his Oral History: "I never dreamed [my first space walk] would be from a Russian spacecraft, in a Russian spacesuit, speaking Russian with a Russian who had been out sixteen times, the most experienced space walker in the world, and that's what Anatoly Solovyev is. So it was a real first-hand lesson from the number-one guy in the field, and that was a privilege."
NASA Biography: Anatoly Solovyev
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