US astronaut Mark Vande Hei has set a new record for an American in space, logging a massive 355 days onboard the International Space Station (ISS). That is almost an entire year!
He touched down with Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov on Wednesday 30 March. This was his second mission onboard the ISS.
The trio departed the International Space Station at 3:21 AM US Eastern time and landed with the help of a parachute at 7:28 AM (5:28 PM Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan
Nasa has said that Mark’s trip will provide them with an opportunity to study the effects of long trips in space, ahead of their next big mission: Artemis.
The Artemis program will take Nasa astronauts back to the Moon for the first time since 1969, and beyond that to Mars.
Mark’s trip into orbit beats the 340-day record set by astronaut Scott Kelly in 2016, according to Nasa.
The all-time record for the longest single stay in space was set by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who spent more than 14 months aboard the Mir space station, returning to Earth in 1995.