NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei readies for April flight to Worldwide Area Station

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is ready to elevate off aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft on an April 9 mission to the Worldwide Area Station (ISS).

The flight engineer and Expeditions 64 and 65 crew member will launch that Friday from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome alongside Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.


Talking with Fox Information final week, the 54-year-old mentioned his group had accomplished the ultimate examinations for actions on each the Soyuz MS-18 and the ISS.

Vande Hei famous that COVID-19 has had a “massive influence” on the astronauts’ coaching, from carrying masks round others to ensuring the virus shouldn’t be carried as much as the house station. 

“We’ll be in quarantine, we’ll get monitored very often to ensure that we’re staying wholesome. After which, we’ll have time to train, calm down, stroll round outdoors. I will strive to verify I spend as a lot time outdoors as doable whereas I nonetheless have the prospect. And, simply make certain I’ve all the pieces so as earlier than we go,” he mentioned. “Along with that, we can even evaluate a number of the procedures that we’ll be utilizing to truly get to the house station. We’ll do these fairly often.”

PHOTO DATE: 10/05/08 – 10/08/09 LOCATION: NAS Pensacola Florida SUBJECT: 2009 ASCAN water survival coaching. NAS Pensacola, Florida PHOTOGRAPHER: BLAIR

As soon as the three have arrived on the house station, the veteran astronaut expects the primary month to “really feel quite a bit completely different” than his earlier expedition in 2017. 

“I had a number of adjusting to do, a number of classes to discover ways to function in an setting the place the best way I usually behave would not work. I misplaced a number of issues in that first month [and] it was very irritating and so many issues that I might do with none acutely aware effort on the bottom required me to pay attention fully,” he defined. “So, I am hoping a number of these classes I realized will come proper again to me and I will have the ability to begin sprinting this time.”

Vande Hei has been with the company since 2006, when he joined Houston’s Johnson Area Heart as a capsule communicator (CAPCOM) within the Mission Management Heart.


In keeping with his NASA biography, Vande Hei served as an ISS CAPCOM for Expeditions 15 to twenty and STS-122, 123, 124, 126 and 127.

After three years, Vande Hei was chosen as certainly one of 9 members of the twentieth NASA astronaut class and he accomplished his coaching in 2011.

From 2012 to 2013, Vande Hei served because the Astronaut Workplace’s director of operations in Russia and, 4 years later, he launched to the ISS as a part of the Expeditions 53 and 54 crew.

Throughout his time on the ISS, Vande Hei logged 168 days and 4 spacewalks and contributed to scientific research investigating the manufacturing of fiber optic filaments in microgravity, aiming to enhance the accuracy of an implantable glucose biosensor and measuring the solar’s vitality enter to Earth

This time round, he instructed KMSP he could be spending as much as a 12 months in house engaged on a whole bunch of experiments, together with analysis on cotton root techniques, Alzheimer’s illness and an illustration of a transportable ultrasound.

Vande Hei instructed Fox Information that he perceives his job aboard the ISS as being like a laboratory technician and that it is “fascinating work.”

“There are scientists that put a number of thought into what experiments they need to get completed. They’re doing the info gathering and the info evaluation and writing papers. My job is to facilitate if these issues work when it is up there,” he mentioned.

“I have to ensure that they’ve the sources they want. If one thing must be troubleshot, I will assist out with the troubleshooting,” Vande Hei continued. “Generally these scientists might be trying over our shoulder with a video digicam and can really be teaching us on what they need us to do to attempt to assist make issues work.”

The utilized doctor identified that he himself is “a part of the science experiment” when discussing NASA’s upcoming Artemis missions to the moon and firms like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s SpaceX testing industrial spaceflights. 

“So, after we are on the house station that is a functionality that we have to preserve one way or the other. However, we additionally need to begin having these new capabilities, such as you talked about, with the Artemis program,” mentioned Vande Hei. “It is going to be actually exhausting if we will not do each of these issues, all of these issues, if all the burden of that falls on the taxpayer.”

“So, having methods the place we will facilitate this continued functionality to place folks in decrease Earth orbit each to do science and to coach for longer length missions and to study the best way to have folks survive on long-duration missions and performance properly …the one means we’re going to have the ability to do that’s if we will have that be commercially profitable,” he added.

Returning to Earth in February 2018, Vande Hei then served as the technical assistant for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and extra not too long ago as the assistant to the chief astronaut for extravehicular exercise and robotics.

Vande Hei served within the U.S. Military as a fight engineer, and in 1999 – after finishing a grasp of science diploma – he turned an assistant professor of physics on the U.S. Navy Academy at West Level, New York.


In 2003, Vande Hei reported to the 1st Area Battalion at Peterson Air Pressure Base, Colorado, the place he served as an Military house assist group chief and later because the battalion’s operations officer.

In that position, he deployed to Iraq for a 12 months in assist of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He and his spouse, Julie, are the mother and father of two kids.

Vande Hei mentioned crucial private possession he is bringing on this mission is his marriage ceremony ring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *