Shuttle-Mir Stories

Portrait of the seven Phase 1 Mir Astronauts.

Thomas on Increments' Differences

In his Oral History, U.S. Mir astronaut Andy Thomas, compares his increment with the six other U.S. Shuttle-Mir residencies.

Thomas says, "I think [my mission] was probably the most placid of all of them. The first person, Norm Thagard [had] . . . a lot of problems to do with the fact that he was the first, and [I don't think he had] a lot of the things that you need to sustain yourself. So that must have made it tough for him. I don't think they had the email situation worked out. . . .

"Shannon [Lucid's] flight got extended -- because of shuttle problems, actually. So she had to stay up there six months instead of four, and that would have been tough, I think. She has a very good spirit about it, though . . ."

Thomas says, "John Blaha . . . had a fairly benign increment . . . much like mine."

But, "For Jerry [Linenger] there was the fire, of course, and for Mike [Foale] there was the depressurization. So they had some exciting times on theirs. [And] David [Wolf] had a number of power failures during his.

"Mine," Thomas concludes, "was fairly placid by comparison, which I think is testimony to the capability of the Russians to restore operations, to bring the system back on line, which I think they did well, because I think they recognized . . . that they were on the world stage and needed to prove that they could do it, and they did that."

Related Links:
Comparing the Increments
Thomas Increment
Profile: Andy Thomas
Andy Thomas Oral History (PDF)


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