Shuttle-Mir History/Background/Cultural Aspects

Mir 24 crewmembers posing with a santa doll in a Sokol suit, small tree, decked boughs, and floating presents.

Cultural Background

Culturally, Russia and the U.S. are alike and yet different. Both have well-educated, ethnically diverse populations, but America's history is relatively short and harmonious, while Russia's long history is full of hardships, famines, and armed invasions. American society tends more to value the individual and personal privacy, while expecting government openness. Russians tend to value personal relationships and community, and they are coming out of long period of government secrecy.

During the Shuttle-Mir Program, negotiators and managers sometimes misunderstood one another, but they persevered to learn about each other and reap many cross-benefits. Mir and shuttle crews also learned the ways of each other's cultures.

Choose one of the links below to explore the Cultural Background of the Shuttle-Mir Program.

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