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Teams - Anthony C. Sang, Operations Lead, NASA Increment 4

Tony Sang was NASA's Operations Lead (Ops Lead) in Russia for the Linenger Increment, coordinating communications between Mir astronaut Jerry Linenger, NASA, and Russia from the Russian Mission Control Center.

In the Ops Lead role, Sang was in charge of the Mir Operations Support Team for Increment 4, managing a group that included a mission science representative, a biomedical engineer, a payloads systems engineer, an operations support tech, a flight surgeon, and a public affairs representative.

While serving in the capacity of Ops Lead, a fire occurred aboard the Russian Space Station Mir. In his Oral History, Sang described how he learned about the incident:

"I didn't hear about the fire until the next morning. We got in approximately [to the TsUP], I guess, 9 o'clock, and I had a ground [comm] pass that was dedicated to me in a few minutes, like in 10, 15 minutes. So as usual, I look at my notes and make sure there's anything I need to pass up to him, any questions, I need to pass up to Jerry [Linenger].

"So I go down to the control room, the front room, and I looked around and I noticed there were a lot of people there, more than usual. A lot of them I recognized because I worked in the ECLSS [Environmental Control and Life Support Systems] group before and I met all the ECLSS players on the Russian side . . .

"They had their big boss there, whose name is Eduard Grigorev, who has since passed away. He recognized me, too, and a lot of the other Russian life-support guys recognized me. Mr. Solovyev, the lead flight director, came up to me, in his broken English saying, 'We have a little problem.'

"But right then, ground [comm] pass is about to start, so I put on my headset and I listen. I told him, 'Well, if there was a problem,' and evidently it was a life-support program, 'then you can have the comm.' So I started listening and I recognized the word for 'fire.' Right then I went, 'Oh, no.'"

Prior to Ops Lead role, Sang worked in NASA's Mission Operations Directorate in the environmental control life support area before serving on the Mir Extension Assessment Team.

Anthony Sang Oral History (PDF)

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty