Mark Vande Hei
|Born||November 10, 1966|
Falls Church, Virginia, U.S.
|Occupation||ISS flight controller|
|Rank||Colonel, United States Army|
Time in space
|Currently in space|
|Selection||2009 NASA Group 20|
Total EVA time
|26 hours 42 minutes|
|Missions||Soyuz MS-06 (Expedition 53/54), Soyuz MS-18/Soyuz MS-19 (Expedition 64/65/66)|
Mark Thomas Vande Hei (born November 10, 1966) is a retired United States Army officer and current NASA astronaut who has served as a flight Engineer for Expedition 53, 54, 64, and 65 on the International Space Station. He is married to Julie Vande Hei.
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.
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. 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. He retired in October 2016 at the rank of Colonel.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. Soyuz MS-19 is scheduled to land on March 28, 2022.
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, with Dubrov and Mark Vande Hei assisting in the production.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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