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Shuttle-Mir Background - Gargarin Cosmonaut Training Center

NASA astronauts were trained at the Gargarin Cosmonaut Training Center in two ways: as part of a group of astronauts; and as part of a specific crew.

The training as part of a group entailed: technical and practical training for the Soyuz spacecraft; technical training for the Mir orbital complex; practical classes and training sessions on station and module simulators; medical/biological training (including flights in simulated "weightlessness," medical examinations, and physical training); survival training under extreme conditions; and Russian language study.

Astronaut training as part of a Mir crew added: training for the NASA-Mir scientific research program; training for the EVA program; and more independent training.

NASA Mir astronauts needed to learn how to: assure crew safety (including a possible emergency descent on the Soyuz TM transport vehicle); support the reliable operation of Mir's systems and equipment; perform work station organization; communicate with the NASA's Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston; perform research and experiments; and perform household duties and physical exercises using onboard facilities.

While the level of crew training proved sufficient to be cleared for spaceflight and for the performance of the science program onboard Mir, it was found that more training would have been helpful, especially in the areas of psychological compatibility and the Russian language.

Links listed in this web site's "Training" text section offer many insights into the training, including excerpts from Oral Histories. The "Joint Programs Report," available in PDF, discusses training in detail, beginning on page 143.

Related Links:
Joint Programs Report (PDF)
Gargarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Star City Life

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