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As NASA Administrator, Daniel S. Goldin had final authority and responsibility for the Phase 1 Shuttle-Mir Program. He was also instrumental in initiating, developing and sustaining Phase 1, as part of the International Space Station Program.
Goldin became NASA's Administrator in the spring of 1992. Within a few months, he was traveling to Russia with an American interagency-delegation to discuss terms of the agreements that established Phase 1. Goldin met with the Russian Space Agency (RSA) Director General Yuri Koptev and the two ratified the United States-Russian Space Cooperation Agreement.
On October 5, 1992, Goldin and Koptev met in Moscow to sign the "Implementing Agreement between NASA and RSA on Human Space Flight Cooperation." This document detailed cooperation that included a Russian cosmonaut flying as a mission specialist on shuttle mission STS-60; a U.S. astronaut launching in a Soyuz to spend more than 90 days on the Mir, then returning in a shuttle; Russian cosmonauts on Mir being "changed out" via the shuttle on the same flight that would return the U.S. astronaut; and evaluation of the Russian Androgynous Peripheral Docking Assembly.
The Phase 1 Program was altered in September 1993, when an agreement between Russia and the United States culminated with additional astronauts residing on the Mir, as well as plans for Russia to participate in the International Space Station. During the duration of the Phase 1 Program, Goldin's responsibility for Phase 1 included deciding to send astronaut David Wolf to Mir, after a dangerous fire had occurred onboard Mir during Jerry Linenger's stay. Goldin commented on this decision in a September 25, 1997, statement, excerpted here:
"I will not trivialize the risks involved in human space exploration. Like all Americans, I know every time an astronaut travels to space there is risk. When we build the International Space Station we will encounter similar problems and there will be danger.
"But NASA is ready.
"We are ready because the reviews assure us. But we're also ready because it's the right thing to do. Americans press forward.
"We overcome the unexpected. We discover the unknown. That has been our history. That's America's destiny.
"I love this country very much, and I feel privileged to serve with so many dedicated, talented and courageous individuals. Today, more than ever, I am proud of everyone at NASA for their commitment to America's future and for their service to humankind. And to David Wolf , Michael Foale and the rest of the Shuttle Atlantis crew . . . Godspeed. We'll see you when you get home."
Before coming to NASA, Goldin was Vice President and General Manager of the TRW Space and Technology Group in Redondo Beach, CA. During a 25-year career at TRW, Goldin led projects for America's defense and conceptualized and managed production of advanced communication spacecraft, space technologies and scientific instruments. He began his career at NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH, in 1962, and worked on electric propulsion systems for human interplanetary travel.
Administrator's Letter to Congress Concerning Shuttle-Mir Program
U.S. Mir Residents | Astronauts | Cosmonauts | Teams | Oral Histories | Shuttle-Mir Stories
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty