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During Phase 1, NASA flight surgeons -- "flight docs" -- accompanied U.S. Mir astronauts to Russia to oversee the astronauts' physical and psychological health. In his Oral History, Mir astronaut David Wolf talks about how important the flight docs were.
Wolf says, "The flight surgeons take on a new importance in a mission like this. They do more than what would traditionally be considered flight surgeon work. They are your alter ego. They're yourself on the ground, and they know the people you need to talk with and communicate with." According to Wolf, flight surgeons were the Mir astronauts' "gateways," for all sorts of information and communication.
Wolf praises Chris Flynn, his mission's flight surgeon, saying, "This takes a long relationship before the mission. He has to know you and your family, and you have to know him, and he's under a similar stress as you are on these long-duration missions . . ."
Profile: David Wolf
David Wolf Oral History (PDF)
Chris Flynn Oral History (PDF)
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty