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In February, 1995, Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Titov flew aboard the "near Mir" shuttle mission STS-63, in which the shuttle rendezvoused with Mir, but did not dock. Titov had spent a year aboard Mir as an expedition crew member, six years earlier, and in his Oral History, he talks about what it was like to see Mir again.
Titov says, "The station [had become] bigger. [When] I flew, the station included [only] base block and the Kvant module and two [Soyuz] spacecraft... And then we had the approach during our flight STS-63 [and there were] two more modules . . . It [was] very wonderful, a wonderful view, and I was very happy because my crew was very happy, and Jim [James D.] Wetherbee, our commander, was [saying], 'Oh, great! This is a big station. This is very nice. It's very good.'
"And all of the time we had the TV information from Discovery to ground, and all of the American people could [be] looking in space . . . [And] this time they could see station. For me it was a very good opportunity to look at my house again . . . Unfortunately, we didn't have a docking unit . . ., and my dream was: "Okay. Maybe I will have one chance for flight to aboard station."
Profile: Vladimir Titov
Vladimir Titov Oral History (PDF)
Descriptions of Mir
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty