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Shuttle-Mir Background - Risk and Safety

Spaceflight is inherently risky, from launch to landing. The Shuttle-Mir Program had to deal with these risks, plus the dangers of combining two independent space programs and linking two large and complex vehicles in space.

Early in the Shuttle-Mir Program, it was agreed that NASA would take care of shuttle-related safety issues and the Russian Space Agency would take care of safety issues onboard Mir. After the "close call" incidents involving an onboard fire and a collision with a resupply vehicle, NASA became more involved with operations onboard Mir.

An extended discussion of safety issues can be found, beginning on page 143, in Section 6 - "Safety Assurance," in the Phase 1 Program Joint Report, available in PDF format on this web site.

The results of risk mitigation investigations can be found in the Science section of this web site.

Shuttle-Mir team members' comments on risk and safety can be found in the Oral History excerpts listed below.

Related Links:
Wolf on Mir Safety
Wetherbee Quoting Wolf on Risk
Thomas on Mir Safety
Phase 1 Program Joint Report (PDF)
Science
The Fire
The Collision

Congressional Mir Safety Hearing
Administrator's Letter to Congress Concerning Shuttle-Mir Program
NASA Press Briefings

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty