U.S. Navy Commander Dr. Jerry Linenger, MD, was a Group 14 Astronaut Selection. He joined the astronaut corps in 1992. His star rose quickly in the astronaut ranks and his first flight into space was aboard STS-64 in September of 1994 as a Mission Specialist. But his most challenging mission was a 132-day grueling marathon aboard the Russian Space Station Mir starting in January 1997. For five months Linenger and two Russian cosmonauts survived an on-board fire, a near collision with a Proton space vessel, power outages, coolant leaks, and various breakdowns with the aging Russian equipment. Adding to the misery was a conflict of cultures between NASA and the Russian Space Agency. T was a constant bickering between the agencies and as the days went by the Linenger and the two Russian cosmonauts Vasily Tsibliyev and Aleksandr "Sasha" Lazutkin felt more and more isolated. Near the end of his mission Linenger even had to conduct a risky space walk with Tsbliyev. Linenger finally returned safely to earth on the Space Shuttle Atlantis on May 24, 1997.
The aging Mir (translates as "peace" or "world") flew for 15 years until it was de-orbited on March 23, 2001. T were several astronauts who flew on Mir as part of the exchange program.... read more