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Shuttle-Mir Stories - Thomas on Training

U.S. Mir astronauts trained for their missions in Russia. Andy Thomas talks about the training, in his Oral History.

Thomas says, "It was actually a fascinating experience. The training all takes place in what they call the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, which is in a small town called Star City . . . about an hour outside of Moscow. It was fascinating to go there, because there's so much history there of . . . the Russian space program. It was just fascinating, being involved in it.

He says that the training "was hard work, though, because all the training . . . was all in Russian, so I had to spend a lot of time learning . . . Russian so that I could understand the instructors . . .

"And then I had to do exams -- oral exams -- to a board of instructors, in Russian, on these systems, and I can tell you, that was a lot of work. That was a big undertaking to do that all in a year to prepare for flight on this vehicle. [And] I did it. I don't know how I did it, but I did it."

Related Links:
Training
Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Thomas Increment
Profile: Andy Thomas

Andy Thomas Oral History (PDF)
Training of Astronauts in Russia

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty