NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei will stay on the Worldwide Area Station till March, giving him a record-setting spaceflight.
The mission extension, which was predicted earlier than Vande Hei’s abrupt launch in April, will see the veteran astronaut spend about 353 days residing and dealing on the orbiting laboratory, based on a tweet the astronaut posted on Tuesday (Sept. 14). That can break the prevailing document for longest single spaceflight by an American astronaut: 340 days, presently held by Scott Kelly.
“Actually, it is thrilling,” Vande Hei mentioned in a video clip filmed on the house station.
“I feel all astronauts are explorers at coronary heart,” he added. “I am wanting ahead to, as a human being, understanding the way it feels to do one thing like this.”
Within the video, Vande Hei explains that he sees the prolonged keep as an important manner for scientists to start to grasp how the human physique withstands the lengthy spaceflights that will likely be essential to go to deep-space locations like Mars.
Sometimes, house station visits final about six and a half months; a spherical journey to Mars would doubtless take extra like two years, based on NASA.
“Thanks, Mark, in your dedication to @NASA and analysis that may put together humanity for Artemis missions to the moon and later to Mars!” NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson wrote in a tweet congratulating the astronaut on his mission extension.
The announcement comes three weeks after NASA delayed a spacewalk as a result of a medical challenge, which was later revealed to be a pinched nerve in Vande Hei’s neck. Vande Hei, who was initially scheduled to affix the sortie, was changed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Company astronaut Akihiko Hoshide; Vande Hei supported the exercise from contained in the house station.
The mission extension is no surprise, nevertheless, as Vande Hei made clear throughout his video remarks. “My household’s been braced for this, I have been braced for this, it is one thing that we anticipated,” he mentioned, noting that he’s meditating daily and talking along with his household nearly daily with a purpose to handle the isolation that comes with long-duration spaceflight.
The lengthened keep is feasible due to a brief flight that NASA’s Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, is launching subsequent month. On Oct. 5, a veteran cosmonaut, an actor and a director will climb aboard a Soyuz capsule with a purpose to spend about two weeks on the orbiting laboratory filming a film dubbed “Problem.” These two passengers will in impact fill Vande Hei’s seat, in addition to that of his Russian crewmate, Pyotr Dubrov, who may even stay in orbit till March.
The “Problem” flight has been within the books since earlier than Vande Hei publicly received his seat task. NASA, involved by delays in Boeing’s troubled Starliner crew capsule program, organized so as to add Vande Hei to the Soyuz car that launched in April, asserting the flight only a month earlier than launch.
Though the mission extension will see Vande Hei leap to the lead of NASA’s long-duration flight veterans, the astronaut mentioned that the document is not about him and he does not count on to relaxation on the laurels it’d carry him.
“I do not suppose it is a document that I might even attribute to me, it is a document that I might attribute to our house program,” Vande Hei mentioned. “I count on this document to be damaged, and that will likely be an additional success for our house program.”
E-mail Meghan Bartels at firstname.lastname@example.org or observe her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.