Foale went to Mir full of enthusiasm in spite of the fire and other
problems during the NASA-4 increment. He expected hard work, some discomfort,
and many challenges; and he hoped to integrate himself fully into the
The challenges became enormous when a Progress resupply vehicle accidentally
rammed the space station, breaching the Spektr module and causing a
dangerous depressurization. The Mir-23 crew worked quickly to save the
station; and in the troubled months that followed, Foale set an example
of how to face the more dangerous possibilities of spaceflight.
Meanwhile on the ground, NASA’s Mir operations were changing, too.
In part because of the problems, Foale’s NASA-5 increment catalyzed
a broader and deeper partnership with the Russian Space Agency.
Mike Foale’s diverse cultural, educational, and family background helped
him adapt to his life onboard Mir. Born in England in 1957 to a Royal
Air Force pilot father and an American mother, his early childhood included
living overseas on Royal Air Force bases. An English boarding school
education taught him how to get along with strangers; and, as a youth,
he wrote his own plan for the future of spaceflight. At Cambridge University,
Foale earned a Bachelor of Arts in physics and a doctorate in astrophysics.
But, in the midst of this progress, disaster struck. Foale was driving
through Yugoslavia with his fiance and brother when an auto accident
took their lives but spared his own. This experience undoubtedly taught
Foale about life’s fragility and risks. Nevertheless, he continued an
active and adventurous path, including diving to salvage antiquities
in the Aegean Sea and the English Channel.
After university, Foale moved to America to pursue a career in the
United States space program. He was working as a Space Shuttle payload
officer in 1988 when he was selected for astronaut training. He flew
on STS-45 and STS-56, and then became involved with the Shuttle-Mir
Program as a crewmember of the "near Mir" STS-63 mission in
1994. In October 1995, while in Star City working on spacewalk issues,
Foale found himself unexpectedly tapped for the NASA-5 mission. The
reason? Two previously scheduled astronauts—Scott Parazynski and Wendy
Lawrence—did not fit new size restrictions for the Soyuz escape capsule’s
seats. For a while, a modified "Three Bears" folktale circulated
at NASA: "Scott is too tall; Wendy is too short; but Mike is just
right." Within weeks, Foale moved to Star City with his wife, Rhonda,
and their family so he could train for his mission on Mir.
Like NASA-2 Mir Astronaut Shannon Lucid, Foale saw his training in
science and his self-identity as a scientist as helpful preparation
to becoming a long-duration astronaut. He also valued "the willingness
to undergo something very different and foreign." He has said,
"It was that trepidation—but interest nonetheless—to get through
it. To go and do this strange thing. I think it comes out of a person,
based on his background, culture, and family. I’m not sure it’s something
we could train into a person."
When Foale launched to Mir onboard Atlantis (STS-84) on May
15, 1997, the Shuttle-Mir Program was maturing. This mission marked
docking number six, and Foale and three of his crewmates had prior experience
flying a Space Shuttle to Mir. Commander Charlie Precourt had been the
pilot of STS-71. Pilot Eileen Collins had been Foale’s crewmate on STS-63.
Cosmonaut Elena Kondakova had experienced 169 days in space as a Mir-17
crewmember in 1994-95, including six days with NASA-1 Mir Astronaut
Norm Thagard. The Mir complex had grown since any of them had seen it
last. The Russian space station now included the new Priroda science
module plus the new Russian-built and U.S.-delivered docking module.
has described his first view of Mir, back in 1995 with STS-63, as "like
seeing the great wall of China from a distance. You don’t relate to
it. You know you don’t have to live in there." For the STS-63 crew,
it was somewhat like being a tourist on a bus tour. They could see Elena
Kondakova, Aleksandr Viktorenko, and Valeri Polyakov waving, all excited.
"We didn’t understand each other very well," Foale said, "but
we had Vladimir Titov onboard, who could speak with them. We lingered
there…. They invited us to tea." Of course, the first Shuttle-Mir
docking and a real tea with the Russians wouldn’t take place for four
more months, during STS-71.
On STS-84 when Foale saw Mir for the second time, the space station—besides
being bigger—looked in better condition than he had imagined. "I
was expecting worse and saw something better," he said later. "I
saw brighter, more cheerful objects." Mir was different than the
"dull, cellar-like impression I’d had in my mind." When Foale
floated into the Mir living area, the atmosphere he found there cheered
him. "It was a warm, welcoming, cozy place" in spite of the
masses of cables and equipment and wires. Happily for Foale, "It
looked like a home."
NASA-4 Mir Astronaut Jerry Linenger greeted Foale and provided him
an accurate, personal picture of what to expect. He said it was not
accidental that the Mir looked and even smelled better than the astronauts
had expected. "Every free moment during the weeks prior to the
arrival of the Shuttle was spent cleaning up," he added. Linenger
personally showed Foale "how he would don the respirator, find
his way into the Soyuz capsule, and activate the fire extinguisher."
to Foale, "Jerry and I talked for a long time, maybe a total of
six hours or so over three or four days…. Jerry was being very careful
to tell me, ‘Don’t be fooled by the illusion that this is all okay while
the Shuttle’s here. It will change.’"
greeting Foale were his new Russian crewmates, Commander and Mir veteran
Vasily Tsibliev and first-timer Flight Engineer Aleksandr (Sasha) Lazutkin.
The schedule called for Foale to help the two cosmonauts finish their
Mir-23 mission, and then to serve on the first part of the Mir-24 expedition.
"I certainly enjoy their company," Foale said of his new crewmates
from orbit. "We spend every meal … chatting and talking."
Right away, Foale acted to ensure that he fit in with the crew. First,
he noticed that the crew spent a lot of time dealing with e-mails and
instructions from the ground, so he wrote a computer program to automate
that effort, thus saving them an hour of work a day. Second, he made
sure he was present for every communications session, and he spent time
with Tsibliev and Lazutkin. Foale said that it was easy to lose oneself
in one’s work onboard Mir, and—oddly—to lose track of the others. "It’s
not because the Mir is such a big space. It’s because it’s such a cluttered
space. You could easily spend a day without talking to crewmembers."
Foale’s easy familiarity with his crew, and with the Russian ground
team, would serve him well later when times got tough.
Foale’s crewmates opened up to him about the troubles during Linenger’s
increment, including the fire. "Vasily talked about it quite a
bit," Foale recalled. "Sasha [Lazutkin] … took me to where
the fire occurred and showed me what he was doing and how the fire happened.
He gave me a long hour’s description of everything that happened during
the fire. It was very amusing. It was a good story with serious undertones.
But, he wasn’t making a big deal out of this. He was telling me a story
because I wanted to learn. And, other times, Vasily would talk about
the near-miss of the Progress docking. That was a very close call."
Foale settled into his work on Mir. He later said, "My whole frame
of mind was, ‘This is not a Shuttle flight. This is long-duration. So,
in the first two or three weeks, if I don’t get all these things done,
it’s not a problem.’" He would give it what he called a "best-faith
attempt … working seriously to do what I could" while building
a good relationship with his Russian crewmates. "Sometimes in the
afternoon Sasha Lazutkin would find me and say, ‘Mike, you want to drink
tea?’ And, we’d drink tea. Then we’d go back to doing whatever we were
doing. That was kind of the existence I had up to the collision."
To create his own living space, Foale tied his sleeping bag in a corner
of the Spektr module, which was new but not all that comfortable. Spektr’s
sidewalls were skewed a disorienting 45 degrees off those of the Base
Block and were crowded and noisy. "I feel like I’m living in a
garage," Foale reported from orbit. Behind Spektr’s panels, two
drive motors slowly rotated outside solar arrays. Foale could hear them
at night while he slept.
Foale got right to work on his science, setting up special containment
areas where 64 black-bodied beetles would be exposed to special lighting
conditions in a study of the insects’ circadian rhythms. He prepared
the Svet greenhouse facility for an experiment on rapeseed growth in
microgravity. In addition to other investigations, he also assisted
his crewmates in the continuing search for leaks in a Kvant-1 cooling
Foale enjoyed working with the Mir crew "just on general maintenance
tasks, where you are helping each other, just fixing tubes and using
a wrench. None of it’s very hard mentally, but you’re working together.
You’re with people, and communicating and joking, and I like doing that
in all, life onboard Mir was going very well. In terms of environmental
systems, June was the quietest month in a long time. Foale said that,
"compared to being on Shuttle, I feel much more healthy. I’ve noticed
that my vision, for example, is really clear. It may be because I’ve
managed to avoid all that paperwork I had to do on the ground in Houston.
With the three or four hours of exercise that we do each day … and along
with the regular diet and all the rest, I feel very healthy. And, of
course we don’t get colds here. No one comes by to infect us. It’s a
very pleasant place. It doesn’t rain!"
however, a storm of troubles was approaching. As June passed, the crew
got ready for the arrival of a Progress resupply ship that would deliver
more food and supplies. But, before its arrival, Moscow ground controllers
had instructed Commander Tsibliev to test the new tele-operated remote
unit docking system by remotely controlling the redocking of the previous
Progress, which recently had been undocked from Mir. In addition to
expanding operational capabilities, the remote unit docking system was
intended to reduce the launch weight on Progress vehicles and to eliminate
the expense of the automatic Kurs equipment, which now had to be purchased
from the Ukraine.
Commander Tsibliev had good reason to be concerned about the procedure.
In January 1994, during a Soyuz redock, the vehicle gently bumped into
Mir. During Jerry Linenger’s residency, Tsibliev had attempted another
remote docking; but he had lost control of the spacecraft and had narrowly
missed ramming the space station.
After that incident, Moscow ground controllers reasoned that perhaps
a radar system had caused interference. For this next attempt, they
would have the radar turned off. Mike Foale and Aleksandr Lazutkin would
provide the only direct measurement of the approach. They would watch
for the Progress from Mir’s windows, ready to use handheld lasers to
help gauge the vehicle’s distance and closing speed.
On June 25, 1997, Tsibliev took remote control of the Progress and
fired its rockets to propel the craft toward the space station. In ways,
the procedure was similar to playing a video arcade game. Tsibliev had
to virtually "fly" the Progress from onboard Mir while he
watched a video screen that showed an image from a camera onboard the
The Progress left its parking orbit and began moving rapidly toward
Mir. But, on the video screen "it was difficult to make out the
station," according to Tsibliev. The Mir complex "looked very
similar to the clouds below it." Tsibliev’s deficient perspective
had a further limitation. According to Foale, "What Vasily was
seeing on his screen was an image that didn’t change in size very fast.
That’s the nature of using a TV screen to judge your speed and your
distance. He couldn’t determine accurately from the image that the speed
was too high." By the time Tsibliev could judge the speed, the
Progress was already traveling too fast. He fired the braking rockets,
but it was too late.
Aleksandr Lazutkin finally espied the Progress, and he realized the
danger. "Michael, get in the escape ship!" he told Foale.
Lazutkin later described the onrushing Progress as looking "full
of menace, like a shark." He said, "I watched this black body
covered in spots sliding past below me. I looked closer, and at that
point there was a great thump and the whole station shook."
The Progress collided with a solar array on the Spektr module. Then,
the spacecraft hit Spektr itself, punched a hole in a solar panel, buckled
a radiator, and breached the integrity of Spektr’s hull.
Foale had moved into the node at this point. He felt the impact shudder
through his fingertips. He heard what seemed to be "a far-off ker-thump."
Then the crew heard hissing and their ears began popping. According
to Tsibliev, "The decompression alarm system immediately went off.
The pressure began to fall, and the station started to spin." Precious
air went rushing out into the vacuum of space.
The crewmembers all realized the mortal severity of the situation.
They might have to get into the Soyuz capsule and abandon the space
station. Tsibliev checked a pressure meter inside the Base Block. The
needle was moving down toward 600 millibars of pressure; 540 millibars
was necessary for the crew to maintain consciousness.
While not knowing at the time exactly where the punctures were or even
how many there might be, Lazutkin and Foale first worked in the node
to seal off the Spektr from the rest of the station. In their way lay
masses of tubes and cables that had been routed through the hatch and
into the node since the day Spektr had been docked to the station. They
worked as fast as they could. "We started pulling the cables,"
Foale related later. "There was a cable that burned in spots, so
we had to find a way of disconnecting that one."
they had cleared the hatch, they needed to seal it with a cover. The
node had six hatches, but all the covers had been tied out of the way.
First, Foale and Lazutkin tried to free a big hatch cover that had a
valve they could use later to equalize air pressures. Stubbornly, however,
this one proved too difficult to untie. According to Foale, they "wasted
about a minute" trying to untie that hatch. "And, the pressure’s
falling. The pressure’s falling." Foale began thinking, "Things
are getting pretty tense now."
The two crewmates had to give up on the big hatch. They found a thinner
hatch cover. They untied it, and that one "popped" into place.
The air pressure in the node forcefully pushed the hatch against the
hatchway. "Truly," Foale thought, "there is a leak on
the other side of this."
As his ears stopped popping, Foale knew they had isolated the leak
and the immediate crisis had passed. As he expressed later, at this
point he had thought, "Hmm. I guess I’m not going home." Then,
he realized, "Well, okay. We’re here for the long haul." Then,
ever the optimist, he looked on the bright side. "Well, hey! We
just survived a pretty big emergency!"
But, a longer-term, chronic crisis had been created. Some of the cables
Foale and Lazutkin had disconnected had served to provide electrical
power from the Spektr’s solar arrays to the rest of the station. Their
disconnection, along with the station’s tumbling, now caused a power
loss on Mir and the shutdown of the central computer. The station fell
dark and silent.
was a novel experience for Foale, who had by this time grown used to
the ever-noisy Mir. He said later, "For the first time I experienced
a totally silent, still space station. There are no fans moving. There
is no light on. Nothing is alive. Just our breathing is causing any
sound." Aleksandr Lazutkin was more dramatic in his description:
"The silence is deafening. You want to close your ears so you can’t
actually hear the sound of silence. It’s painful. You experience flight
in a completely different way." According to Vasily Tsibliev, for
a time after the accident, "We watched the polar lights and the
stars in complete silence."
power outage lasted about a day-and-a-half. Because of the orientation
of Mir’s orbit at that time, the station was more often in Earth’s shadow
than in the Sun’s light. Only when a panel happened to catch some solar
energy did they have enough power to contact ground controllers in Moscow.
According to Foale, this was the hardest time he experienced onboard
Mir; but that hardship was mainly because they all got so fatigued.
Lazutkin went two full days without sleep.
the other hand, this was also a time of opportunity for Foale. The Russian
controllers were now ready to let Foale take a major role in the recovery
of their space station. Since his arrival, Foale had been serious about
talking with the ground team and had eagerly volunteered for other station
work, such as sopping up condensate from the station’s walls.
collision had knocked Mir into a spin; and the power outage had shut
down the gyrodynes so that the spin now went uncontrolled. To stop the
spin and face the arrays toward the Sun, the crew needed to know the
spin rate of Mir. However, the computer and other instruments were out
of operation. So, in the dark and in the silence, Foale went to the
windows in the airlock and held his thumb up to the field of stars.
Combining a sailor’s technique with a scientist’s knowledge of physics,
Foale estimated the spin rate of the space station. Then, he and Lazutkin
radioed the estimates down to the Moscow Control Center. The ground
controllers fired Mir’s engines, and that stopped the spin—certainly
not perfectly, and in no way permanently; but it showed that it could
future corrections, the crew would sometimes use the rocket engines
on the Soyuz capsule. However, these engines pointed at a 45-degree
angle to the axis of the main station. This and other factors created
another problem in physics, as well as in onboard communications. Foale
found an older, 18-inch scale model of Mir to which flashlights had
been taped to approximate the newer Spektr and Priroda modules. In the
microgravity of Mir, Foale set the Mir model to slowly spinning. Then
he shined another flashlight onto the model, thus simulating the Sun.
In this way, he determined how Tsibliev—who sat at the Soyuz capsule
controls—should apply pulses with the Soyuz jets to set up a stable
rotation and orient the solar arrays to the Sun. Over the next hours,
Foale kept a star watch at his window and shouted instructions to Tsibliev
in the Soyuz, many feet away.
Finally, the crew took turns catching a few hours of sleep. Then, they
got back to their hard work in the dark. According to Foale, "We
basically hunkered down and had to deal with a station that had all
power removed from all modules except for the front two." The crew
started moving batteries from the darkened modules to the Base Block
to charge them up. They kept a supply of charged-up batteries ready
to power the Base Block if the power went out again. This chore and
other work occupied them for the week after the collision.
The now-out-of-reach Spektr had been Foale’s bedroom. All of his private
articles and many of his experiments were sealed behind the hatch in
the vacuum of space. Tsibliev searched the Russian supplies and found
a toothbrush for the American. Foale worked with NASA officials on the
ground, who put together a care package to be sent up on the next Progress
ship, which arrived automatically on July 7.
Also onboard the Progress was the hermaplate, a modified node hatch
cover that had been hurriedly built to allow the reattachment of Spektr’s
cables. To try and effect these reattachments, Tsibliev and Lazutkin
were scheduled to don spacewalking suits and perform what amounted to
an internal spacewalk into the vacuum of Spektr.
As the crisis continued, Foale actually learned to enjoy rotating the
station, in spite of the fact that this was a tricky procedure. Tsibliev
was understandably worried about wasting fuel that might be needed for
a trip home; but, on Foale’s instructions, he pulsed the Soyuz jets
to cause complicated movements "up and to the right, or down and
to the left." Lazutkin came up with an ingenious way to use a normally
Earth-observing periscope to track the Sun and thus trace the station’s
Another painful twist of fate occurred on July 13. While Tsibliev exercised
on the stationary bicycle, he recorded an irregular heartbeat. Medically,
this disqualified him from conducting the internal spacewalk.
NASA and Russian officials agreed that Foale could participate in the
spacewalk instead of Tsibliev, and Foale started training. He was already
one of NASA’s extravehicular activity experts, and the Russians now
trusted his judgment and skill.
But, then an event occurred that might make anyone feel jinxed. On
July 17, during one of the training exercises, Lazutkin mistakenly disconnected
an important power cable. The cable was one of hundreds, and the action
was an easy mistake for a fatigued crewman; but it caused another severe
power outage and a computer collapse. "Oh, my feelings!" Lazutkin
said later. "Shooting yourself would be easier! It was terrible.
The station emergency alarm went off. I realized instantly that I’d
made a mistake."
The station fell into another period of tumbling without power, in
which it was discovered that the Soyuz escape capsule’s power could
not be switched on unless the main station’s power was also working.
This fact had serious implications for the availability of the Soyuz
during a crisis. Because of this and all the problems of the Mir-23
crew, Moscow ground controllers delayed the internal spacewalk in the
Spektr module until the Mir-24 crew arrived in early August.
Mike Foale worked to salvage all he could of his mission. Needless
to say, the Progress collision dealt a great blow to his scientific
investigations. He was, however, able to continue with several of the
experiments. For example, the beetles had survived. The greenhouse was
working. Many of the second set of broccoli plant seeds sprouted, including
some seeds that were generated from the first set of plants. This was
the first time that a second generation of space-borne plants had ever
been grown. Foale was also able to do Earth observations with a Hasselblad
camera. And, he and his crewmates prepared the space station for the
With all the power outages, a lot of condensate had built up on Mir’s
interior surfaces. According to Foale, "Fifty percent of my time
was spent just mopping up water. It was like cave diving, going into
a dark module with a full-length suit on." Foale mopped up the
water, either with old underwear or used clothes, or with a device that
sucked the water into an airtight bag.
Mir-24 crew arrived in their Soyuz spacecraft on August 7, and the two
crews accomplished a one-week handover. With the fire, the collision,
and the other challenges, Tsibliev and Lazutkin had weathered one of
the more challenging long-duration missions in the history of spaceflight.
Regardless, leaving Mir was for them a moment of great nostalgia. According
to Vasily Tsibliev, "No one who has been there thinks of Mir simply
as a pile of metal. It’s as if it touches you inside, and you feel as
though you’re a part of the station." Aleksandr Lazutkin later
said, "I didn’t want to leave the station because I felt it was
like a living creature."
reporting to Mir, Foale had gone through some training with the Mir-24
Commander Anatoly Solovyev and Flight Engineer Pavel Vinogradov. He
was familiar and comfortable with them, which was good because Moscow
ground controllers had planned a lot of work for the whole crew. The
crew would start by moving the Soyuz to another docking port. Later,
Solovyev and Vinogradov would perform the intravehicular activity (IVA)
to attempt to restore power through the damaged Spektr. Then, in about
three weeks’ time, Solovyev and Foale would perform an extravehicular
activity to inspect the Spektr module’s hull for damage. This was good
news to Foale, who now looked forward to participating in this spacewalk.
Repositioning the Soyuz included a fly-around to inspect the Spektr
module. Foale got the job of taking photographs during the flight. Not
only did this assignment provide him with fantastic views of the station,
but the fly-around got him "out of the house"—his first time
outside the Mir space station in months.
The next day, the crew docked a new Progress vehicle. The docking proceeded
normally with the automated Kurs system, until the Kurs failed at about
200 feet out from Mir. Controllers told Solovyev to go ahead and use
the tele-operated remote unit docking system—the same system Tsibliev
had been using at the time of the collision. This time the remote docking
system worked, except for a short dropout of the video image, and Solovyev
docked the Progress.
When the time came for his crewmates’ IVA in the Spektr module, Foale
stationed himself inside the Soyuz escape module. In case problems with
hatches and depressurization occurred and the entire crew had to make
a quick escape, Foale would be ready to assist in an evacuation.
During the IVA as Solovyev and Vinogradov opened Spektr’s hatch, there
was a fairly rapid depressurization of the airlock they were in. This
indicated the puncture hole in Spektr’s hull was large—perhaps a half
an inch. At this point, Vinogradov noted that one of his extravehicular
activity (EVA) suit gloves was not sealing well, and they had to repressurize
the airlock and get a new glove.
The two cosmonauts then went to work. Vinogradov floated feet first
into the darkened module to begin the job of connecting the power cables
to the special hatch plate. Solovyev joined Vinogradov a short time
later, helping him inspect several areas behind panels for leaks. They
found no obvious signs of puncture inside the module. Vinogradov described
Spektr as being in generally good shape, with a few "white crystals"
floating around, possibly from soap or shampoo, and a thin layer of
frost on experiment counters that had been exposed to the vacuum of
space for two months. They were able to reconnect power from two solar
arrays and from part of a third. They also retrieved one of Foale’s
laptop computers and some photographs.
After the IVA, the crew prepared for the EVA to inspect Spektr. They
also repaired systems and mopped up more condensate. Foale enjoyed assembling
a truss structure to be used during the EVA. In another example of on-orbit
problem solving, Foale and Solovyev came up with a way to get the balky
structure out through the airlocks.
three weeks into the Mir-24 mission, Foale and Solovyev performed their
six-hour extravehicular activity. For most of this spacewalk, Foale
was positioned at the base of the 60-foot Strela crane from which he
moved Solovyev, at the other end, to the places Solovyev needed to work.
Once or twice, Foale himself moved to the end of the Strela to hold
Solovyev’s feet while the Russian worked, digging with a raisin [sic: "razor"] knife
under Spektr’s insulation and searching for holes. Although they observed
a lot of damage to Spektr and its attachments, the two spacewalkers
could find no actual hull breaches.
Solovyev rotated some solar arrays to provide more power that would
help the station substantially. However, twice more during the mission,
computer failures caused the loss of electrical power for about 24 hours
The crew continued working on the condensation problems. They found
"balls of water a cubic meter in size" in two modules, Kristall
and Priroda, where temperatures had dropped into the 40s. However, at
the same time, the Base Block’s temperature had risen into the 90s;
so the crew ducted its warmer air into the cold module. This initially
caused an increase in condensation as the warm moist air hit the cold
metal. But, slowly the modules began drying out. According to Foale,
"We first powered up the Kristall, and it dried out fairly nicely;
and then the last week before docking with STS-86, we finally dried
up Priroda enough" to turn on its power. "And, that was an
amazing thing for me," to see all the modules we had access to
"all powered-up, finally."
Mike Foale’s eventful mission to Mir was coming to an end. Before NASA-6
Mir Astronaut David Wolf arrived, Foale said in a radio dispatch to
the ground, "Over the next 10 days, of course, I am getting excited
because STS-86, the Space Shuttle Atlantis, will be coming, I
hope, to pick me up and switch me out with [Dave].
"During the next 10 days, I will be extremely busy packing up
the 140 or so items that have been sent to me for return to Earth, as
well as conducting the last pieces of research that we were unable to
do when we had less electric power."
Foale referred to a growing controversy on the ground—over whether
astronaut David Wolf should succeed him on Mir—by saying, "I’d
like to summarize really why I think Dave Wolf should stay onboard space
station Mir when I leave. Really, I think it comes down to the fact
that, even though this flight has been one of the hardest things I have
ever attempted in my life, I have to remember what John F. Kennedy said
when I was about four years old. Forgive me if I get it wrong. He said,
‘We do not attempt things because they are easy, but because they are
hard, and in that way we achieve greatness.’
"I believe out of this cooperation of America with Russia, which
is not always easy, we are achieving some extremely great things. And,
for these reasons I think I’ve really valued my time onboard space station
Mir. I will always remember the last three or four months with great,
great alacrity and nostalgia, I’m sure. I really count all that we are
doing together, America and Russia, to be extremely valuable to future
cooperation on the Earth in the future."
more about Mike Foale and NASA-5
the Congressional Mir Safety Hearing document
the Administrator's Letter to Congress
Concerning the Shuttle-Mir Program
the Progress Collision with Mir animation