Mark T. Vande Hei


Mark Vande Hei
Mark Vande Hei, official portrait.jpg
Born (1966-11-10) November 10, 1966 (age 54)
OccupationISS flight controller
Space career
NASA Astronaut
RankColonel, United States Army
Time in space
Currently in space
Selection2009 NASA Group 20
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
26 hours 42 minutes
MissionsSoyuz MS-06 (Expedition 53/54), Soyuz MS-18/Soyuz MS-19 (Expedition 64/65/66)
Mission insignia
Soyuz-MS-06-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 53 Patch.png ISS Expedition 54 Patch.svgSoyuz-MS-18-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 64 Patch.png ISS Expedition 65 Patch.png ISS Expedition 66 Patch.png Soyuz MS-19 Mission Patch.png
Vande Hei giving a talk at the College of St. Benedict / St. John's University in 2012

Mark Thomas Vande Hei (born November 10, 1966) is a retired United States Army officer and current NASA astronaut[2] who has served as a flight Engineer for Expedition 53, 54, 64, and 65 on the International Space Station.[3][4] He is married to Julie Vande Hei.[5]

Early life and education

Vande Hei was born November 10, 1966, in Falls Church, Virginia. He graduated from Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, in 1985. Vande Hei earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physics from Saint John's University in 1989, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1999.[5]

Military career

Vande Hei was commissioned in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program in 1989 and became a combat engineer, serving in Iraq in Operation Provide Comfort.[5] After earning his master's degree in 1999, he became an assistant professor of physics at the United States Military Academy in West Point. In 2003, he became part of the Army's 1st Space Battalion at Peterson Air Force Base. Vande Hei again served in Iraq, in Operation Iraqi Freedom.[5] He retired in October 2016 at the rank of Colonel.[6]

NASA career

Vande Hei began working at Johnson Space Center in 2006 as part of the U.S. Army contingent there. He worked as a communications officer (which is a flight controller responsible for communicating with astronauts in space) for the International Space Station. In June 2009, Vande Hei was selected as a member of the NASA Astronaut Group 20 and he completed astronaut candidate training in June 2011.

On June 10, 2014, NASA announced that Vande Hei would serve as an aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 18 undersea exploration mission, which began on July 21, 2014 and lasted nine days.[7][8]

In May 2015, it was announced that he has been assigned to ISS Expedition 51/52 scheduled to launch in March 2017 aboard Soyuz MS-04. He was reassigned in November 2016 to ISS Expedition 53/54 scheduled to launch in 2017 aboard Soyuz MS-06.[9]

Expedition 53/54

Vande Hei in the Destiny laboratory onboard the ISS

Vande Hei launched to space as part of Expedition 53/54 on Soyuz MS-06 on September 12, 2017. After launch the crew performed the fast rendezvous with the ISS and docked automatically after approximately 6 hours.[10]

Vande Hei during an EVA in 2017

On October 5, 2017, Vande Hei performed his first spacewalk, along with Commander Randy Bresnik. The spacewalk replaced the gripping mechanism on Canadarm2, the latching end effector A, or LEE-A. The duration was 6 hours and 55 minutes.[11] On October 10, 2017, they completed the second EVA of the mission. They lubricated the newly installed end effector and replaced cameras, and the duration was 6 hours and 26 minutes.

The expedition ended on February 27, 2018, at 9:31 p.m. EST with Vande Hei's, Bresnik's, and third crew member Joseph M. Acaba's successful landing back on Earth.[3]

Expedition 64/65/66

In March 2021 it was confirmed that Vande Hei would be making a second space flight, as a flight engineer onboard Soyuz MS-18, and be part of ISS Expedition 64/65.[12][13] On April 9 2021, Vande Hei alongside Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov successfully launched onboard Soyuz (spacecraft) MS-18 at 3:42 am EDT.[14]

On September 14 2021, it was announced that Vande Hei and Pyotr Dubrov had their six-month stays on the station extended by another six months.[15] This means Vande Hei would break the record for the longest spaceflight by an American astronaut with 353 days.


On May 14, 2021, the Interagency Committee approved the composition of the ISS main and alternate crews for the period 2021-2023.[16] Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (commander) and the crew of the film "The Challenge": actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko, will go to the ISS on the Soyuz MS-19. The drama is a joint project of Roscosmos, Channel One and the Yellow, Black and White studio.[17][18]

It is planned that the director and actress will return to Earth on October 17, 2021 on Soyuz MS-18, with Commander Oleg Novitskiy. Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov and astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who arrived at the ISS on Soyuz MS-18, will join Shkaplerov on the landing of Soyuz MS-19.[19][20] Soyuz MS-19 is scheduled to land on March 28, 2022.[21]

Movie Shot on ISS

Klim Shipenko will have to shoot about 35-40 minutes of film on the ISS, as well as taking on the position of director, operator, art director, and makeup artist. Oleg Novitsky and Peter Dubrov will appear in the film,[22] with Dubrov and Mark Vande Hei assisting in the production.[23]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ "EVA information for Mark Vande Hei". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  2. ^ NASA HQ (June 29, 2009). "NASA Selects New Astronauts for Future Space Exploration". NASA. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  3. ^ a b NASA Television Coverage Set for Next International Space Station Crew Launch
  4. ^ "Touchdown! Three Expedition 54 Crewmates Back on Earth – Space Station". Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Astronaut Bio: Mark T. Vande Hei". NASA. April 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  6. ^ "Army astronaut retires after 27 years of service". U.S. Army. October 7, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  7. ^ "NASA Announces Two Upcoming Undersea Missions". NASA. June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Bergin, Chris (June 11, 2014). "NEEMO returns with two new underwater missions". NASASpaceflight. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "NASA Updates 2017 International Space Station Crew Assignments". NASA. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Deland, Dave (September 13, 2017). "Vande Hei '89 reaches orbit as first Johnnie astronaut". College of St. Benedict / St. John's University. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  11. ^ Harwood, William. "Aging robot arm gets spacewalk surgery". cbsnews. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Scierholz, Stephanie; Sumner, Megan; Ballarte, Chelsea (March 9, 2021). "NASA Assigns Astronaut Mark Vande Hei to International Space Station Crew". NASA. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  13. ^ Garcia, Mike (April 8, 2021). "NASA TV Broadcasts Friday Launch to Station on Soyuz Crew Ship". NASA. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  14. ^ Garcia, Mike (April 9, 2021). "Station Crew Blasts Off on Short Ride to Station". NASA. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  15. ^ "NASA astronaut to stay on ISS for nearly a year". 2021-09-14. Retrieved 2021-09-26.
  16. ^ "Космонавты готовятся к очередной экспедиции на МКС" (in Russian). ЦПК им. Ю.А.Гагарина. 2021-05-25. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  17. ^ "Актриса и режиссер фильма «Вызов» полетят к МКС 5 октября" (in Russian). ТАСС. 2021-04-29. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  18. ^ "Экспедиция МКС-65/66. План полёта". Русский космос (in Russian). April 2021. p. 17.
  19. ^ "Срок полета двух членов экипажа «Союза МС-18» увеличат". ТАСС (in Russian). 2021-03-14. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  20. ^ "На МКС 10 человек". Роскосмос (in Russian). 2021-04-09. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  21. ^ "ISS: Expedition 67". 2021-06-15. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  22. ^ "Создатели научно-просветительского проекта «Вызов» раскрыли некоторые секреты фильма" (in Russian). 2021-07-31. Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  23. ^ "Russia to switch to year-long expeditions to orbital outpost, says Roscosmos chief". 2021-06-16. Retrieved 2021-07-12.

External links

  • Spacefacts biography of Mark T. Vande Hei
  • Mark T. Vande Hei on Twitter Edit this at Wikidata