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Mark Vande Hei Talks on Record about A Year in Space

Vandemark, Mark Hei is content after nearly a year in space. Vande Hei , a NASA astronaut, returned to Earth on March 30 after a 355-day tenure aboard the International Space Station. He gave his first public comments about the trip a week later, at a news conference at the Johnson Space Center in Houston on Tuesday (April 5).

“In the Russian spacecraft, I didn’t have as many obligations this time. I was the copilot the last time; this time, I was in the same seat, which could have been a tourist’s seat, so I had very little to do, which allowed me to spend a lot of time looking out the window and observing. And it was a delightful experience for me to start noticing things I hadn’t observed before. “In response to a query from collectSPACE.com, Vande Hei stated. He had not understood how much the Soyuz capsule swung under its parachute as it fell on Kazakhstan’s steppe.

“It looked like the Earth was swinging back and forth past the window as I was enjoying this amazing vista of Earth,” he said. “I understood that if I remained looking out the window, I’d become nauseous, so I went inside and focused on the exhibits. Because nothing in the spacecraft was oscillating back and forth, everything appeared to be incredibly steady.” Then it was time for the “soft landing,” as they called it.

Vande Hei said he was experiencing some aches and pains but that his return to Earth was proceeding better — and faster — than he had anticipated. Vande Hei said one of the most important things he learned from his time in space was the need to take care of his mental health, advice he would provide to future astronauts whether they were living on the space station or exploring the solar system.

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