Document-Setting NASA Astronaut and Two Cosmonauts Return From Worldwide Area Station

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is seen outside the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft after landing with Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov in deep space near the city of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. VandeHei and Dubrov return to Earth after spending 355 days internally as members of Expeditions 64-66 aboard the World Space Station. For VandeHei, his mission is the longest spaceflight by an American astronaut in history. Shkaplerov returned home after 176 days, serving as a flight engineer for Expedition 65 and commander of Expedition 66. Credit Rating: NASA / Bill Ingalls

After extending the record of the longest space flight in history by an American to 355 days, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei returned to Earth on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, with Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

The trio left the world zone station at 3:21 a.m. EDT and made a safe parachute-assisted landing at 7:28 a.m. (1728 Kazakhstan time) southeast of the distant city of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

“Mark’s mission is not only record-breaking, but also paves the way for future human explorers to the Moon, Mars and the past”” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson. “Our astronauts are making incredible sacrifices for the sake of science, exploration and the improvement of cutting-edge know-how, especially by moving away from their family members. NASA and the nation are proud to welcome Mark Wilson and grateful for his incredible contributions throughout his year-long stay on the World Space Station.”

Soyuz MS-19 Crew Ship Just Before Landing

The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship carrying NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two cosmonauts is pictured moments before touchdown under the clear, blue skies of Kazakhstan. Credit rating: NASA

Vande Hei’s extended mission will offer researchers the opportunity to examine the consequences of long-term spaceflight on people, as the company plans to return to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for the exploration of Mars.

Vande Hei was launched on April 9, 2021, alongside Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. His second trip to the 355-day house is the longest spaceflight by an American astronaut, previously held at 340 days, and gives him an entire lifetime of 523 days in the house. Dubrovnik stayed on board for 355 days during its first space flight.

Supporting NASA’s goals for future human landings on the Moon, Vande Hei has completed about 5,680 orbits of the Earth and a journey of more than 150 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 312 trips to the Moon and back. He witnessed the arrival of 15 visiting spacecraft and new modules, and the departure of 14 visiting spacecraft.

After medical checks after landing, the crew will return to the metropolis catering scene in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, on Russian helicopters. Vande Hei will board a NASA plane bound for Cologne, Germany, to refuel before returning home. Shkaplerov and Dubrov will board a plane from the heart of cosmonaut Gagarin to return home to Star Metropolis, Russia.

Throughout his research mission, Vande Hei spent many hours on scientific actions aboard the station house, conducting everything from plant analysis to body science research.

With the stall of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft with Vande Hei, Shkaplerov and Dubrov on board, Expedition 67 officially began aboard the station. NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn recently took over as station commander, and is joined by NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, ESA (European Space Society) astronaut Matthias Maurer, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov.

Marshburn, Chari, Barron and Maurer will remain on board until the end of April, when NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, in addition to ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, will launch to the station as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-Four mission.

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