After initial ambiguities and unfortunate jokes, the US astronaut is to be brought to earth by Russia.
Russia and the USA want to continue to cooperate within the framework of the ISS.
The war started by Russia against Ukraine strains relations between Russia and the United States. In the case of space travel, agreements made between the two countries should continue to apply. This is particularly relevant at the moment, as there is still an American astronaut on board the International Space Station ISS, who is scheduled to start his journey home at the end of March.
No return ticket?
Just last week, news surfaced that Russia had threatened not to transport the American astronaut from the ISS to Earth as agreed. A news item on Russian television gave the impression that Russia wanted to leave the astronaut stranded on board the ISS and even decouple the Russian parts of the ISS. In response, Roskosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin said via Telegram that it was just a joke. The US module could not exist without the Russian module. The Russian news agency TASS has now announced that they want to bring Mark Vande Hei safely to Earth together with the rest of the team. The Russian space agency Roskosmos has also confirmed once again that NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is to be brought to earth in a Russian capsule after spending almost a year on the ISS.
353 days in space
In April 2021, the US astronaut launched aboard a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. After several extensions of his stay, Mark Vande Hei is scheduled to return to Earth on March 30 in a Russian Soyuz capsule. At 353 days, the astronaut holds the record for the longest consecutive stay by a US astronaut.
NASA plans to crash the ISS into the Pacific