Spaceflight is inherently risky, from launch to landing. The Shuttle-Mir Program had to deal with these risks, plus the dangers of combining two independent space programs and linking two large and complex vehicles in space.
Early in the Shuttle-Mir Program, it was agreed that NASA would take care of shuttle-related safety issues and the Russian Space Agency would take care of safety issues onboard Mir. After the "close call" incidents involving an onboard fire and a collision with a resupply vehicle, NASA became more involved with operations onboard Mir.
An extended discussion of safety issues can be found, beginning on page 143, in Section 6 - "Safety Assurance," in the Phase 1 Program Joint Report, available in PDF format on this web site.
The results of risk mitigation investigations can be found in the Science section of this web site.
Shuttle-Mir team members' comments on risk and safety can be found in the Oral History excerpts listed below.
Wolf on Mir Safety
Wetherbee Quoting Wolf on Risk
Thomas on Mir Safety
Phase 1 Program Joint Report (PDF)
Mir Safety Hearing
Letter to Congress Concerning Shuttle-Mir Program
NASA Press Briefings
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