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Sergei Krikalev was the first cosmonaut to fly on an American Space Shuttle as part of the cooperative agreement between Russia and the United States.
The Space Shuttle Discovery launched February 3, 1994, with Krikalev and the crew of STS-60. As a mission specialist, Krikalev operated the shuttle's robot arm and supported a wide variety of materials science experiments during the nine-day mission. Throughout the joint Shuttle-Mir program, he actively supported operations, working with ground controllers in mission controls at NASA Johnson Space Center and Russia.
Krikalev's endured an extremely challenging schedule in order to prepare for the historic STS-60 mission. In his Oral History, Travis Brice, NASA Johnson Space Center Russian Projects Office, shared a comment from the cosmonaut: "Sergei, one time told me, 'By the time I get through with all my studies for the classes that I have to take, I normally have the time period from about one o'clock to two o'clock in the morning to do my English language training.' So that was the kind of schedule they were on. It was a very compressed schedule."
In 1981, Krikalev earned a mechanical engineering degree from Leningrad Mechanical Institute and became a cosmonaut in 1986. A veteran of four spaceflights, including two long duration stays on Mir. He was also a mission specialist on STS-88, the first International Space Station assembly mission and is a member of the first crew scheduled to inhabit the International Space Station. For additional details of Krikalev's Mir experiences and his many years in the space industry, visit NASA Biography: Sergei Krikalev.
NASA Biography: Sergei Krikalev
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