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Shuttle Flights & Mir Increments - Precourt: on STS-71 Practical Joke

"I think, really, for me personally, the memories of each of those flights will live with me for a long, long time. Having Vladimir [N.] Dezhurov, the first commander, who came back with us on Atlantis, on STS-71, sneak up behind me while I was doing some work on the flight deck-I was holding a volt ohmmeter-it has two electrical probes-and I was just about to make contact with an electrical circuit that we were repairing on the Shuttle when he made the sound of a 'Pht-t-t-t' in my ear. You can't jump in space, but you can sure go reeling in zero gravity, and I could have choked him, but he had this big grin on his face when I turned around and said, 'What are you doing?' And we've been really good friends ever since. It was just a neat experience to bring him to the Shuttle, show him around, and let him feel at home, and to be able to joke around like that makes for a good experience."

Related Links:
Precourt: on Practical Joke (audio)
Charles Precourt Oral History (PDF)
Life on Mir

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty