Spending an extended period of time in space isn’t exactly our idea of fun. It can become more demanding for the human body than we can imagine, even if the astronaut is an experienced one.
According to Space.com, NASA is now preparing a special mission for the American astronaut Mark Vande Hei. He’ll have to stay on board the International Space Station until March. Such an experience will grant him an incredibly long spaceflight.
Roughly 353 days in space
The astronaut will spend about 353 days working on the space station. It will be record-breaking, as the previous record for the longest spaceflight was held by another American astronaut named Scott Kelly: 340 days.
I’ll be staying on @Space_Station until March 2022 for a ~353-day mission, a possibility that I was prepared for from the beginning. The opportunity to experience this with wonderful crewmates while contributing to science and future exploration is exciting! https://t.co/oweCK6L1wN
— Mark T. Vande Hei (@Astro_Sabot) September 14, 2021
How can an astronaut not like such space travel? Curiosity is in the nature of this job, as Vande Hei himself suggests by saying, as quoted by Space.com:
Honestly, it’s exciting,
I think all astronauts are explorers at heart,
I’m looking forward to, as a human being, understanding how it feels to do something like this.
However, the International Space Station won’t stay in orbit forever, as you know what they say: everything must come to an end. The NASA administrator himself, Mr. Bill Belson, brought the news that commercial space stations could start orbiting our planet after the possible retirement of the International Space Station.
Bill Nelson declared, as quoted by Space.com:
Unfortunately, I believe we’re in a space race with China,
I’m speaking on behalf of the United States, for China to be a partner. I’d like China to do with us as a military adversary, like Russia has done … I would like to try to do that. But China is very secretive, and part of the civilian space program is that you’ve got to be transparent.
The International Space Station has been in orbit for over 20 years, and it surely still has a lot more to prove.