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.
the Shuttle-Mir Oral Histories
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
these documents online
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.
the Bibliographic Essay and Chapter Notes