NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei Return Earth ISS Spaceflight
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei has safely returned to Earth on Wednesday, March 30, after extending the record for the longest single spaceflight in history by an American to 355 days. He, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, left the International Space Station at 3:21 a.m. EDT and completed a parachute-assisted landing at 7:28 a.m. (5:28 p.m. Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Read more to see the landing and for additional information.

During his time in space, Vande Hei completed around 5,680 orbits of the Earth and traversed more than 150 million miles, or approximately the equivalent of 312 trips to the Moon and back. In all, he was present to welcome 15 visiting spacecraft and new modules, as well as the departure of 14 visiting spacecraft. Once medical checks are complete, Vande Hei will board a NASA plane bound for Cologne, Germany, for refueling prior to his return back to the United States.

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Mark’s mission is not only record-breaking, but also paving the way for future human explorers on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Our astronauts make incredible sacrifices in the name of science, exploration, and cutting-edge technology development, not least among them time away from loved ones. NASA and the nation are proud to welcome Mark home and grateful for his incredible contributions throughout his year-long stay on the International Space Station,” said Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator.

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