Accomplished NASA astronaut Michael Foale who holds dual UK/US citizenship has retired from NASA. During his astronaut career he had six trips into orbit via six space shuttle missions and served 145 days aboard the Russian space station Mir in 1997. That mission nearly ended in disaster after Spektr, one of Mir’s space station modules, sprung a leak during a collision with a Progress cargo ship and began to depressurise the breathable atmophere aboard. It was Foale’s quick thinking in commanding lines across a hatch to be cut and the hatch to be shut which was latter credited with saving the crew and the mission.
Michael (Mike) Foale later also served 194 days aboard the International Space Station as commander of Expedition 8 from October 2003 to April 2004. As an accomplished diver, he took to spacewalking well and conducted four spacewalks over his NASA career totaling almost 23 hours.
Foale was later chief of the Astronaut Office Expedition Corps, assistant director (technical) of the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and deputy associate administrator for exploration operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington.