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NASA astronaut breaks record for longest American spaceflight

In this Aug. 17, 2021 photo made available by NASA, astronaut and Expedition 65 Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei inspects a spacesuit in preparation for a spacewalk at the International Space Station. (NASA via Associated Press, File)

Story at a glance

  • Mark Vande Hei will become the U.S. astronaut with the single longest spaceflight at 12:24 p.m. EDT Tuesday.
  • At that time, Vande Hei will have been in space for 340 days, 8 hours and 42 minutes.
  • The title was previously set and held by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on March 2, 2013.

A NASA astronaut will break the record on Tuesday for longest American spaceflight after launching into space roughly 11 months ago.   

Mark Vande Hei will become the U.S. astronaut with the single longest spaceflight at 12:24 p.m. EDT Tuesday, according to Space.com. At that time, Vande Hei will have been in space for 340 days, 8 hours and 42 minutes.  

The title was previously set and held by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on March 2, 2013. 


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Vande Hei arrived at the space station on April 9, 2021. His extensive time in space has allowed NASA to study the effects of microgravity on astronauts over extended periods of time.    

“I didn’t know with certainty that the flight would be this long when I launched, but I certainly knew that it was a possibility,” Vande Hei told CBS News in January. “I felt like it was an opportunity to fill a need that we had, and I was very happy to be able to fill it.”   

Vande Hei will return to Earth on March 30, making the total length of his time at the International Space Station 355 days.  

“It’s been really pleasant,” Vande Hei said of the stay. “It’s been really a lot of amazing experiences.” 


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