Co-chair, Phase 1 Medical Operations Working Group, NASA
Roger Billica from NASA served as co-chair for the Phase 1 Medical Operations Working Group. This group was responsible for defining health care systems requirements in support of astronauts and cosmonauts involved in cooperative missions.
He was also the chief of the Medical Operations Branch at the NASA Johnson Space Center during Phase 1. Billica commented on the benefits of the Shuttle-Mir Program during his Oral History.
"Of course, the big benefit of all of this is we are in such a better position now for the International Space Station. If we had not done Phase 1 and just went from Shuttle to an International Space Station, without this experience, I'm not sure how well we would have done.
"I think we would have really fumbled around quite a bit trying to learn these same lessons, where here we had a much more structured learning experience where we were put into a situation where we basically had to fit into an existing program, learn from them, bring back from what the Russians do the best, and the experience and the knowledge that we could gain from that, at the same time learn what we wanted to do differently, and do it in a way that was less risky than just going out there and trying to learn it without that framework. So, a very worthwhile experience ...."
Roger Billica Oral History (PDF)
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