The history of Shuttle-Mir comes first from those who experienced it. This book presents the human side through a detailed chronology and background information. Much of the material was provided by the NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project for which dozens of Shuttle-Mir participants offered their words, their stories, their memories.

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Historian Stephen Ambrose wrote in the introduction to his book, Citizen Soldiers, "Long ago my mentors … taught me to let my characters speak for themselves by quoting them liberally. They were there. I wasn't. They saw with their own eyes; they put their lives on the line. I didn't. They speak with an authenticity no one else can match. Their phrases, their word choices, their slang are unique — naturally enough, as their experiences were unique."1

Shuttle-Mir was likewise unique. And, its oral histories will continue through the years to illustrate the humanity and illuminate the importance of the Program.

Also, this book reflects the changing of the times. The Internet came of age during the Shuttle-Mir Program, and many of the book’s sources reflect the Internet’s capabilities. For historical background, NASA history offices maintain an ever-growing library of electronic texts. NASA’s various Centers maintain Internet Web sites pertinent to their missions, such as the Shuttle launch records at Kennedy Space Center and human spaceflight information at the Johnson Space Center (JSC).

During and after the Program, JSC hosted a Shuttle-Mir Web site that included weekly updates and interviews. Russia’s space agency also hosted a Web site, and newspapers, such as The New York Times and Florida Today, maintain news story archives, available on the Web. Of the many Internet sources, two of the most interesting and helpful were Chris van den Berg’s MirNews, which reported on Mir-to-Ground radio transmissions, and Mark Wade’s Encyclopedia Astronautica. Many memos and daily reports from NASA’s internal electronic mail system proved to be useful. The author’s file contains many of these documents, as well as other source materials such personal correspondence and interviews. The author’s file is archived in the history collection at NASA JSC.

Other Shuttle-Mir resources were — and are — available electronically. They include the Phase 1 Program Joint Report and Sue McDonald’s Mir Mission Chronicles. These are contained on another sign of the changing times, this companion CD-ROM. Other bibliographical materials accessible on this companion disk include crew interviews, mission status reports, and weekly updates; reports from the Inspector General and Program Manager, letters from the Russian space station, documentation focusing on the science program, as well as imagery, videos, and related information.

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Additionally, two memoirs published during the writing of this book provided valuable insight and background. These were Off the Planet by NASA-4 Mir Astronaut Jerry Linenger, and Michael, Mir, and Me by Colin Foale, father of NASA-5 Mir Astronaut Mike Foale.

Finally, much use was made of JSC’s Shuttle-Mir Program file archives and materials collected by Phase 1 Program Manager Frank Culbertson. And, nearly everyone involved in Shuttle-Mir was happy to contribute and clarify information.

1 Stephen E. Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945 (New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1998), 13.

The following link will take you to a PDF version of the bibliographic essay, list of oral history participants, and chapter notes for Shuttle-Mir: The U.S. and Russia Share History's Highest Stage . The document is the same as it appears in the book, and all page numbers noted are from the book. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat viewer to read this document. Adobe Acrobat is available on this CD under Search.

Read the Bibliographic Essay and Chapter Notes