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 dwelling and dealing on the orbiting laboratory, in accordance with a tweet the astronaut posted on Tuesday (Sept. 14). That can break the present report for longest single spaceflight by an American astronaut: 340 days, at the moment held by Scott Kelly.
“Truthfully, 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 trying ahead to, as a human being, understanding the way it feels to do one thing like this.”
Associated: Probably the most excessive human spaceflight data
Learn extra: NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei may spend a yr in house
(Picture credit score: NASA)
Within the video, Vande Hei explains that he sees the prolonged keep as an important method for scientists to start to grasp how the human physique withstands the lengthy spaceflights that can be crucial 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, in accordance with NASA.
“Thanks, Mark, in your dedication to @NASA and analysis that can 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 on account 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 isn’t surprising, nonetheless, 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 together with his household nearly daily with a view to handle the isolation that comes with long-duration spaceflight.
Associated: How NASA booked a last-minute journey to house on a Russian Soyuz
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 view 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 can even stay in orbit till March.
The “Problem” flight has been within the books since earlier than Vande Hei publicly obtained 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, saying the flight only a month earlier than launch.
Though the mission extension will see Vande Hei soar to the lead of NASA’s long-duration flight veterans, the astronaut mentioned that the report is not about him and he would not anticipate to relaxation on the laurels it would deliver him.
“I do not suppose it is a report that I’d even attribute to me, it is a report that I’d attribute to our house program,” Vande Hei mentioned. “I anticipate this report to be damaged, and that can be an additional success for our house program.”
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