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In his Oral History, U.S. Mir astronaut Andy Thomas gives a sense of what it's like on Mir: crowded, yet comfortable.
Thomas says, "I had gone into it [the mission] expecting that, 'All right, it's going to be confined and it's going to be crowded,' but I have to say ... it was a bit of a shock just how crowded it was -- how much stuff was in there -- and that took some getting used to . . .
"But you can get used to it. In the early part of the flight, [the crews and I] spent a lot of time to try and tidy things up so that it would be perhaps a little less crowded and the housekeeping organized a little bit better, to make it more comfortable. But it is a confining environment. There's no doubt about that."
On the other hand, according to Thomas, "At no time did I feel claustrophobic up there. You don't have that sense at all. There's enough room . . . but you are aware that it's a confined environment -- that you don't have a lot of options of places to go inside this vehicle . . ."
Thomas on Adapting to Microgravity
Life on Mir
Profile: Andy Thomas
Andy Thomas Oral History (PDF)
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty