1997 marked the third year of a collaborative space project between the United States and Russia known as the Shuttle-Mir partnership. This program sent U.S. astronauts to Space Station Mir where they worked with Russian cosmonauts on life science, microgravity and environmental research. Automated supply vehicles called Progress visited the station every four months to deliver fresh supplies and to collect accumulated rubbish. These spacecraft normally docked with Mir using a Ukrainian docking system called Kurs. However, Russia's financial difficulties and Ukraine's rising prices made the Kurs system unaffordable, and the Russians began implementing an existing manual docking system, called TORU, to dock Progress with Mir. In July of 1997, Russian Mission Control instructed the crew on board Mir to test this docking system on the Progress-M 34 freighter. The test ended in disaster when the Progress vehicle sailed past the docking node, slammed into a solar array and bounced into Mir's Spektr Module. The impact punctured the hull and caused the first ever decompression on an orbiting spacecraft. The lessons portrayed in this incident remind us that communicating and understanding the technicalities behind a system are crucial to making rational, informed decisions when off-nominal situations arise. It also emphasizes the importance of analyzing failure modes introduced by new systems, accounting for such possibilities and formulating backup plans.