US astronaut launching next month may spend year in space

US astronaut launching next month may spend year in space
On this Feb. 28, 2018 file picture, floor personnel carry NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei after the touchdown of the Soyuz MS-06 house capsule in a distant space south-east of the Kazakh of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Vande Hei discovered final week that he’ll launch April 9, 2021, on a Russian rocket to the Worldwide House Station.Vande Hei stated Monday, March 15 he might have to surrender his return Soyuz within the fall to a Russian movie-making vacationer. If that occurs, he’ll have to attend for the following Soyuz trip dwelling in spring 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photograph by way of AP, File)

NASA might quickly chalk up one other one-year house mission because of an out-of-this-world Russian movie-making deal.


Astronaut Mark Vande Hei discovered simply final week that he’ll launch April 9 on a Russian rocket to the Worldwide House Station. The previous station resident suspected which may occur and had been coaching simply in case.

In a information convention Monday from headquarters in Star Metropolis, Vande Hei stated he might have to surrender his return Soyuz seat within the fall to a Russian house vacationer who’s desirous about filming up there. If that occurs, he and presumably considered one of his two Russian crewmates must look ahead to the following Soyuz trip dwelling—almost definitely in spring 2022.

“Truthfully, for me, it is simply a chance for a brand new life expertise,” he informed reporters. “I’ve by no means been in house longer than about six , so if somebody tells me I’ve obtained to remain in house for a yr, I will discover out what that like. I am actually passionate about it.”

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

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

NASA is raring for extra extra-long missions to the human physique’s adaptation to weightlessness, particularly because it seems forward to Mars expeditions of at the very least just a few years. House station missions sometimes final six months.

Vande Hei was added to the following Soyuz crew—bumping a Russian—with the intention to preserve a U.S. presence on the house station within the occasion SpaceX’s subsequent astronaut flight experiences a serious delay. SpaceX is concentrating on no sooner than April 22. Till the started offering rides final yr, Russia supplied the one elevate for house station crews as soon as NASA’s shuttles stopped flying.

Operations on the U.S. aspect of the orbiting lab could be hampered if no Individuals—solely Russians—had been on board, in keeping with Vande Hei. It is also a symbolic situation after 20 straight years of U.S. astronauts in , he famous. The there now are attributable to 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 carrying a lot larger 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 is not very snug, but it surely’s the appropriate factor to do,” he stated.


Space station crew to relocate Soyuz to make room for new crewmates


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US astronaut launching subsequent month might spend yr in house (2021, March 15)
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