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Valery Ryumin was the ninth and final Russian cosmonaut to fly to Mir on an American Space Shuttle. He flew on STS-91, which brought home American astronaut Andrew Thomas and ended Phase 1 of the International Space Station Program.
Ryumin is a veteran of three other spaceflights: a Soyuz mission and two stays on the Salyut-6 space station. He was also the Russian technical director for the Phase 1 Shuttle-Mir Program, and he served as RSC Energia's technical director for the Phase 1 Management Working Group. In this capacity, Ryumin and his American counterpart, Frank L. Culbertson, Jr., led the technical direction of the Shuttle-Mir Program's activities as well as coordinated the activities of the working groups that supported Phase 1.
Ryumin served in the Army before attending and graduating from Kaliningrad Mechanical Engineering Technical College and from the Moscow Forestry Engineering Institute with a specialty in spacecraft control systems. He then joined RSC Energia in 1966 and became a member of the cosmonaut corps in 1973.
In his Oral History, Ryumin said: "I believe that Phase 1 program is very useful and will be very useful for the future International Space Station. During these joint operations during Phase 1 program, we learned a lot. We learned how to understand each other. We got acquainted with the philosophies of each country, and we met a lot of people. I believe it's a very important step for our next second step, which will be ISS."
NASA Biography: Valery Ryumin
Valery Ryumin Oral History (PDF)
Valery Ryumin video (15 sec.) MPEG (1.1M) (No Audio)
U.S. Mir Residents | Astronauts | Cosmonauts | Teams | Oral Histories | Shuttle-Mir Stories
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