Mission to Mir

Director(s): Ivan Galin
Production: Imax Corporation
40 min

We're 1,000 miles southeast of Moscow

on the plains of Kazakhstan.

A Soyuz rocket, the 300-ton workhorse

of the Russian space program...

rolls out to the launchpad.

This is the cosmodrome at Baikonur...

a sight few western eyes have seen.

Under the old Soviet Union...

it was so secret,

it wasn't even on the maps.

Today you'll find outsiders here

for every launch.

As often as not,

a foreigner is a member of the crew.

The launch pad has a long history.

This reliable technology

has launched over 1,000 rockets.

Most were never seen by the public.

Now the days of secrecy

and suspicion are gone.

Nations of the world

are banding together...

to build the first permanent

International Space Station.

Phase One.' A series of joint missions

and crew exchanges is now under way.


The Russian space station MIR.

"Mir" is the Russian word for "peace."

There's a lot of hardware in orbit...

but this space station

with the hopeful name...

is the most complex of all.

It's been home

to scores of men and women...

for more than a decade.

They come and go in a Soyuz spacecraft,

docked there on the right.

In two's and three's they've lived

in that central module...

some for more than a year at a time.

At first, that was the whole of MIR.

The rest has been added over the years.

Moored on the left is Progress,

an unmanned delivery truck...

that brings up supplies.

Then it takes away the garbage...

and burns up as it enters

Earth's atmosphere.

And now, there's another visitor

to Russia 's MIR, an American citizen.'

Astronaut and scientist Shannon Lucid.

She's a veteran of four shuttle flights...

and has already logged

over 800 hours in space.

She's the first American woman

to live on MIR...

and she's very much at home.

I think I'd been up on MIR

about three months...

when the first Progress came

and we opened it up.

Then Yuri would say, "You can just smell...

"all the fresh fruit and vegetables

that are here. "

So we dug around

and we got those bags out...

and for that lunch

we had fresh tomatoes and onions.

That was one of the best meals

I have ever eaten in my life.

It was just great.

Shannon grew up in Bethany, Oklahoma.

One of the cosmonauts was born

in Russia, the other in Ukraine.

One night,

Yuri and Yuri and I were sitting...

sort of floating around,

just talking about our childhood.

Here we were, three people,

we grew up in two different countries...

and we'd been working together,

having a real good time together.

And that was just amazing to us,

how the world had changed.

We got talking about

when I was growing up...

how afraid America was of Russia...

and then they were explaining to me

how afraid Russia was of America.

The Cold War was very, very dominant

in our lives.

We would do bomb drills at school,

and go underneath our desk.

An Iron Curtain has descended

across the continent.

I remember very distinctly

the night that Stalin died.

Russia was the enemy.

America had to be strong

to be against Russia.

I remember when Sputnik was launched,

standing outside the school door...

and just thinking about the artificial

satellite going around the Earth...

I thought, "Wow! That's what I can do.

"I can go and be a space explorer,

because certainly...

"space won't be all explored

by the time I grow up. "

Says Mr. K.,

the Soviets will overtake America...

and then wave bye-bye.

Then I remember

when the first seven were selected...

and at that time, I wrote a letter

to Time magazine and I asked them.'

"Why were just males selected?"

But the Russians were first

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Matthew Hart

Matthew Norman Hart (born 16 May 1972, in Hamilton, Waikato) is a former New Zealand cricketer. Hart, a left-arm orthodox spinner, played in 14 Tests between 1994 and 1996, claiming 29 wickets including one five-wicket haul against South Africa. He also appeared in 13 ODIs, claiming 13 wickets, including a then-record haul by a New Zealander in One Day Internationals, claiming 5/22 against the West Indies in 1994. His international career lasted from 1994 to 2002, eventually losing his place in the team to Daniel Vettori. Hart retired from cricket in 2005 at the age of 33, citing a loss of enthusiasm for the game.His brother, Robbie, also played cricket as a wicket-keeper for Northern Districts Knights and New Zealand. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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