U.S. Mir astronauts went to Russia to train for Mir. David Wolf talks about the training, in his Oral History.
He says, "What was striking about training in Russia was not the differences, but the similarities to the U.S. program. In many cases there seems to be a universal effect here where, to achieve a certain type of training, ultimately you settle on a similar path.
"Of course, it was all in Russian, and that's the first trick to get past, and toward the end I didn't even notice we were in Russian. In fact, I preferred it, it had been so long since I spoke much English. I think it's a nice language.
"The training was long and intense. We went north of the Arctic Circle [for] very serious survival training ... in more than forty degrees below zero outside for days. That's excellent for camaraderie and learning how people respond under stresses -- not just to learn how to live when you land..."
This training has important side benefits, according to Wolf, for example, "how to get through the next hour, hour by hour, and stick to the task that's very difficult..." He says it is all transferable to a long-duration mission.
Training of Astronauts in Russia
Profile: David Wolf
David Wolf Oral History (PDF)
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