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Mir crews generally spoke with Russian Ground Control during a communications pass, about every 90 minutes. In his Oral History, U.S. Mir astronaut Michael Foale discusses his experiences with Mir communications.
Foale says, "I would always go for every communication session. Now, most of the time it was not geared towards me; it was geared to the Russians onboard with the ground, but . . . as a result of that, I did see the crew more and more often . . . I made a big effort to go to the comm sessions, even if I didn't have something to say or they didn't have something to say . . ."
". . . The Russian ground controllers then got used to me being on the radio. They got used to my voice. I got used to their voices . . .
". . . Over the time of a month, I got to know the controllers quite well and they got to know my voice well. I lost my inhibitions to talk to them on the radio. That kind of integrated me into the overall Russian operation of the station better."
This arrangement would help Foale and his crewmates, when the Progress supply vehicle collided with the space station.
Profile: Michael Foale
Michael Foale Oral History (PDF)
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty