NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei could spend a yr on the house station, for science- Expertise Information, Alenz

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei could spend a yr on the house station, for science- Expertise Information, Alenz

NASA could quickly chalk up one other one-year house mission due to an out-of-this-world Russian movie-making deal. Astronaut Mark Vande Hei realized simply final week that he’ll launch 9 April on a Russian rocket to the Worldwide House Station. The previous station resident suspected that may occur and had been coaching simply in case. In a information convention Monday from cosmonaut headquarters in Star Metropolis, Vande Hei mentioned he could have to surrender his return Soyuz seat within the fall to a Russian house vacationer who’s curious about filming up there. If that occurs, he and probably certainly one of his two Russian crewmates must look forward to the subsequent Soyuz experience dwelling — almost definitely in spring 2022.

 NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei may spend a year at the space station, for science

NASA has assigned astronaut Mark Vande Hei to an upcoming mission to the Worldwide House Station as a flight engineer and member of the Expedition 64/65 crew. Picture credit score: NASA

“Truthfully, for me, it’s simply a chance for a brand new life expertise,” he advised reporters. “I’ve by no means been in house longer than about six months, so if somebody tells me I’ve obtained to remain in house for a yr, I’ll discover out what that looks like. I’m actually captivated with it.”

The film is deliberate by Russia’s Channel One and a TV movie studio. Tentatively titled “Vyzov,” problem in English, it’s meant to spotlight Russian house actions and glorify the cosmonaut career, based on a information launch.

5 years have handed since now-retired astronaut Scott Kelly accomplished a 340-day house station mission, a US file. Astronaut Christina Koch got here near {that a} yr in the past.

NASA is raring for extra extra-long missions to check the human physique’s adaptation to weightlessness, particularly because it seems to be forward to Mars expeditions of a minimum of a couple of years. House station missions usually final six months.

Vande Hei was added to the subsequent Soyuz crew — bumping a Russian — with a view to hold a US presence on the house station within the occasion SpaceX’s subsequent astronaut flight experiences a serious delay. SpaceX is concentrating on no sooner than 22 April. Till the non-public firm started offering rides final yr, Russia supplied the one carry for house station crews as soon as NASA’s shuttles stopped flying.

Operations on the US aspect of the orbiting lab can be hampered if no People — solely Russians — had been on board, based on Vande Hei. It’s additionally a symbolic difficulty after 20 straight years of US astronauts in house, he famous. The astronauts there now are as a result of go away in April and Could.

The excellent news is that NASA managed to launch his garments up there. In any other case, the retired Military colonel would have been caught carrying a lot greater outfits meant for another person.

Vande Hei expects to get his second COVID-19 vaccine this week. He stays vigilant about carrying masks, even when he and his Russian crewmates are coaching in spacesuits.

“It’s not very snug, however it’s the proper factor to do,” he mentioned.

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