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Teams - Isaac W. "Caasi" Moore, Operations Lead, NASA Increment 3

Caasi Moore was NASA's Operations Lead (Ops Lead) in Russia for the Blaha Increment. Duties included coordinating the communications between U.S.-Mir astronaut John Blaha, NASA, and Russia from the TsUP, the Russian Mission Control Center.

As the Ops Lead, he was in charge of the Mir Operations Support Team for Increment 3, managing a group that included a long-duration science coordinator, a payload engineer who was responsible for the operations of the American science hardware on Mir, a biomedical engineer, a flight surgeon, a public affairs representative, and a crew interface person. Caasi Moore was also a technical manager in the Phase 1 Program Office, where he was responsible for the spacecraft operations involved in long-duration spaceflight. His expertise in that capacity centered on spacecraft operations, the operation of Mir, and the operations of Phase 1 science.

He also worked in NASA's training division for approximately 15 years, as well as in NASA's Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Additionally for STS-71 and STS-74, he served as a "groundhog" - a person who assisted the Russian engineers and flight controller representatives from Moscow who were in Houston to support those missions.

In his Oral History, Moore described a humorous incident that occurred in the Russian Mission Control Center while he was an Ops Lead that reminded him of the differences in the two cultures:

"I was down on console on comm, getting ready for the next pass for the crew members. In the control center they use one of their communications loops, and they just play music on it, background…. So I'm sitting back here, and I'm hearing 'La Macarena' play, the music, just over the headset, and I'm hearing it kind of from speakers, and headsets that have been set down so it's kind of coming from the room.

"Then I realize that what I'm hearing is not coming from the voice loop. I mean, the music's there, but some of it's not, and I'm trying to figure out what's going on here. It's a little bit like the twilight zone. I look around, and I look over the console, and most of controllers in the room are doing the Macarena.

"I didn't have a camera, and I didn't have a camcorder, and I just calmly stood up and looked over, and it was all I could do not to fall out of my chair, because they were singing the Macarena and were doing the Macarena in the control room for Mir.

"Now, I was trying to imagine that over here in the control center in Houston, and I can't. That's just not a vision that I can do. But here are these people working, they've been working hard, they've worked for months, they've worked for years in here; the Macarena is played, and so they're going along with it, sitting on console. And, you know, you just sit back and go, 'There are different things between the cultures.' And I tried not to make an international incident by falling out of my chair."

Caasi Moore Oral History (PDF)

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty