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The second U.S. astronaut to live on the Russian Space Station Mir was Shannon Lucid. In residence 188 days, she set an endurance record for the longest flight by an American astronaut. She also set the record for the most flight hours in orbit by any woman in the world. Lucid's Shuttle-Mir spaceflight began when she launched aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis with the crew of STS-76 on March 22, 1996. During her stay, she performed numerous life science and physical science experiments. She returned to Earth with the crew of STS-79 on September 26, 1996.
As part of the Phase 1, International Space Station effort, Lucid also served as a crew representative for the Crew Training and Exchange Working Group. This group of Americans and Russians developed the requirements for crew functions, programs, schedules, and crew training for Phase 1.
Lucid became a NASA astronaut in 1979 as part of the first class of women admitted into the astronaut program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Oklahoma, which also awarded her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biochemistry. While aboard Mir, Lucid was involved in day-to-day tasks pertaining to scientific experiments. However, during her off-time, Lucid enjoyed reading many books. In her Oral History, she said: "It really sort of brought home the power that authors have . . . here I was . . . reading David Copperfield and Bleak House. I thought, 'Wow, here was this guy [author Charles Dickens] that lived in a totally different era than we're living, and it had never ever crossed his mind that his book would be being read in a space station, by an American, on a Russian space station.'
"I mean, that would have just absolutely blown his [Dickens] mind, that the words that he penned way back there in England, I was reading. I just thought about that a lot, about the power that authors have and his ideas and his story was transcending the centuries, transcending culture …."
For more information on Lucid's stay on Mir, select Shuttle Flights & Mir Increments, Lucid Increment.
NASA Biography: Shannon Lucid
Shannon Lucid Oral History (PDF)
Shannon Lucid Video (15 sec.) MPEG (1.1M) (No Audio)
U.S. Mir Residents | Astronauts | Cosmonauts | Teams | Oral Histories | Shuttle-Mir Stories
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty