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Shuttle-Mir Stories - Thagard on Language Training

Some NASA Mir astronauts took Russian language courses in Monterey, California. In his Oral History, Norman Thagard comments on the Monterey language school.

He says, "The Monterey course is eight hours a day, five days a week. It's not total immersion Russian, like a lot of people think, but, nevertheless, it's pretty intensive. It's a great program, because . . . we were not just one-on-one with an instructor, but there were several different instructors that interacted with us, often, on an individual basis, which was really a very good learning experience when you're trying to learn a language." Currently, NASA astronauts and employees take Russian language instruction at Johnson Space Center and -- while on assignment -- in Russia.

Related Links:
Thagard Increment

Profile: Norman Thagard
Norm Thagard Oral History (PDF)

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty