Shuttle-Mir Stories

Dr. Michael Barratt

Barratt on Star City

Michael Barratt was a NASA flight surgeon, during the Shuttle-Mir Program. In his Oral History, he discusses Star City.

Barratt says, "It was definitely educational. It's a very historical place. ... Star City has always been kind of felt as the 'forbidden city' - or the 'hidden city.' It wasn't on any maps, certainly, by then. It was a secret cosmonaut training base. Of course, everyone knew where it was, but it was considered a closed and secure city. Even the building where we were given to live, the Prophylactory, was essentially built to hold the Americans for the Apollo-Soyuz Project. So what history we knew of it was all based on the one and only joint mission that we had done with the Russians several years before...

"Star City at first [in 1994] was a little overwhelming, because there were only four or five of us English speakers and an awful lot of them - Russian speakers. I think we were all looking at each other with a certain amount of curiosity - maybe suspicion. But that gave way relatively quickly. ... It was a very short time later that it became a very comfortable place, a second home, really, to live. Star City is a very friendly place and a very beautiful place--peaceful, quiet, forests, trees, fresh air. It's something that I really look fondly on..."

Related Links:
Michael Barratt Oral History (PDF)
Star City Life
Cultural Background

Text only version available

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