NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei has damaged the document for longest US human spaceflight, a title former astronaut Scott Kelly has held since 2016.

Tuesday marks 341 consecutive days in house for Vande Hei, surpassing Kelly’s record-breaking 340-day stint aboard the Worldwide House Station (ISS).


However the achievement comes amid unstable relations between the US and Russia in house. Russia has stopped promoting rocket engines to the US, following sanctions President Biden imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kelly obtained right into a Twitter spat with Russia’s high house official, Dmitry Rogozin, who made inflammatory feedback in regards to the ISS falling to Earth with out Russia’s assist. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and astronomer Jonathan McDowell have additionally sparred with Rogozin on-line.

Nonetheless, NASA officers keep that operations on the ISS aren’t affected by fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Vande Hei continues to be poised to return safely to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship on March 30.

“Nothing has modified within the final three weeks,” Joel Montalbano, NASA’s ISS program supervisor, stated in a spacewalk press briefing on Monday.

“I can inform you for positive, Mark is coming residence on that Soyuz. We’re in communication with our Russian colleagues. There isn’t any fuzz on that.”

By the point he lands in Kazakhstan, the astronaut may have spent 355 days in house.

“I do not suppose it is actually my document – I feel it might be the entire group’s,” Vande Hei instructed Insider in August. “It is simply one other step ahead for humanity. I additionally do not count on that to be a document that will final very lengthy, as a result of we’re doing greater and higher issues on a regular basis.”


Vande Hei, a former Military colonel from New Jersey and Minnesota, wasn’t initially scheduled to remain in house for thus lengthy. When he launched to the ISS on a Russian Soyuz spaceship on April 9, 2021, he was planning for the standard six-month shift of spacewalks, science experiments, and station upkeep.

However Vande Hei and his crewmate, Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, knew they could do a double shift, stretching their keep to a full yr. Russia’s house company, Roscosmos, was launching a movie director and actress to the ISS for per week of movie-making. The company in the end requested Vande Hei and Dubrov to provide the movie crew their seats on the spaceship again to Earth. The astronaut-cosmonaut duo would hitch a trip on the subsequent Soyuz ship.

Dubrov will even have spent 355 days in house. However that is not a document for Russia. Cosmonaut Valery Polyakov holds the title for longest steady human spaceflight, after spending 438 days on Russia’s Mir house station within the mid-’90s.

Rogozin’s feedback left Vande Hei’s household ‘very apprehensive’

Though Roscosmos and NASA proceed to collaborate on the ISS, Rogozin has focused the station in his Twitter tirades. On February 24, he claimed the ISS would lose orbit and start an uncontrolled fall to Earth if Russia withdrew its spaceships, which routinely hearth their engines to push the ISS increased, a maneuver known as a “reboost,” after the station loses altitude.

The next week, NASA Watch reported {that a} Russian state media outlet posted a Roscosmos video to Telegram, together with edited ISS footage to make it appear to be cosmonauts have been leaving Vande Hei behind. Insider has not independently verified that the video got here from Roscosmos.


Vande Hei’s mom, Mary, instructed The Each day Mail on Sunday that Rogozin was making “a horrible risk.”

“After I first heard it, I did loads of crying. It’s extremely troubling. We’re simply doing loads of praying,” she instructed the Mail, including, “It’s actually a disgrace that it has been politicized like this. It is fairly a shock.”

Vande Hei’s spouse, Julie, is “very apprehensive,” she added. 

“These threats are only one particular person talking and although it is the top of the Russian house company, all the opposite individuals inside the house company appear very cooperative,” Vande Hei’s father, Tom, instructed the Mail, including, “Our son doesn’t scare simply.”

Soyuz spaceships are now not the one autos able to carrying people to the ISS. Since 2020, NASA has been utilizing SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceships to ferry astronauts to and from the station.

This text was initially printed by Enterprise Insider.

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