NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is finally home.
Vande Hei, who lived 355 consecutive days in space and set a new record for the longest single spaceflight by an American astronaut, arrived Thursday (March 31) after a landing in Kazakhstan on Thursday (March 31) in Houston at the Johnson Space Center ( JSC) of NASA a Vor.
“@Astro_Sabot returned to Houston this morning with loved ones and colleagues to greet him. It landed back on Earth yesterday after spending 355 days orbiting the Earth,” JSC said tweeted later that day.
Vande Hei and his two Russian crewmates, Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, landed safely in Kazakhstan on Wednesday (March 30) aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Per NASA protocol, Vande Hei was then flown back to Houston to recover from nearly a year of living in microgravity.
Video: Astronaut Mark Vande Hei on nearly a year in space
Related: Mission updates from the International Space Station
After the crew’s arrival in Kazakhstan, they were taken to a medical tent and then flown by helicopter to Karaganda, a city in Kazakhstan. From there, Vande Hei was flown to Texas on a NASA jet. Now at home, Vande Hei will have time to recover from the nearly year-long mission.
US Vice President Kamala Harris congratulated Vande Hei on the historic, record-breaking performance shortly after he landed. write on twitter: “Congratulations on your historic journey and 355 days in space. Welcome Home, @Astro_Sabot“
Mark Vande Hei is at home! 🌏 @Astro_Sabot returned to Houston this morning with loved ones and fellow @NASA_astronauts to greet him. It landed back on Earth yesterday after spending 355 days orbiting the Earth. pic.twitter.com/HQfLJ3WgDRMarch 31, 2022
Vande Hei’s mission surpasses the previous mark of a single spaceflight by a US astronaut, which was Scott Kelly’s 340-day field trip in 2015-16. The overall record for a single space flight of nearly 438 consecutive days is held by Russian cosmonaut Valery Poliyakov, who was on the Soviet-Russian Mir space station in 1994-1995.
Before Vande Hei landed in Kazakhstan, some media speculated that he would not return to Earth as planned aboard Russia’s Soyuz because the US has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and numerous international space projects have been canceled as a result.
However, NASA has said that relations in the International Space Station program remain unchanged and that Vande Hei will return home as planned, which has now been successfully completed.
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