Mark T. Vande Hei

Mark Thomas Vande Hei (born November 10, 1966) is a NASA astronaut[2] who served as a flight Engineer for Expedition 53 and 54 on the International Space Station.[3][4] Married to Julie Vande Hei.[5]

Mark T. Vande Hei
Born (1966-11-10) November 10, 1966
OccupationISS flight controller
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Time in space
168 days 5 hours 14 minutes
Selection2009 NASA Group 20
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
20 hours 45 minutes
MissionsSoyuz MS-06 (Expedition 53/54)
Mission insignia

Early life and education

Vande Hei was born November 10, 1966, in Falls Church, Virginia. He graduated from Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, in 1985. Vande Hei earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physics from Saint John's University in 1989, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1999.[6]



Vande Hei was commissioned in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program in 1989 and became a combat engineer. After earning his master's degree in 1999, he became an assistant professor of physics at the United States Military Academy in West Point. In 2003, he became part of the Army's 1st Space Battalion at Peterson Air Force Base. Vande Hei served in Iraq in Operation Provide Comfort and Operation Iraqi Freedom. [6] He retired in October 2016 at the rank of Colonel. [7]


Vande Hei began working at Johnson Space Center in 2006 as part of the U.S. Army contingent there. He works as a communications officer (which is a flight controller responsible for communicating with astronauts in space) for the International Space Station. In June 2009, Vande Hei was selected as a member of the NASA Astronaut Group 20 and he completed astronaut candidate training in June 2011.

On June 10, 2014, NASA announced that Vande Hei would serve as an aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 18 undersea exploration mission, which began on July 21, 2014 and lasted nine days.[8][9]

In May 2015 it was announced that he has been assigned to ISS Expedition 51/52 scheduled to launch in March 2017 aboard Soyuz MS-04. He was reassigned in November 2016 to ISS Expedition 53/54 scheduled to launch in 2017 aboard Soyuz MS-06.[10]

Expedition 53/54

Vande Hei launched to space as part of Expedition 53/54 on Soyuz MS-06 on September 12, 2017. After launch the crew performed the fast rendezvous with the ISS and docked automatically after approximately 6 hours.[11]

On October 5, 2017, Vande Hei performed his first spacewalk, along with Commander Randy Bresnik. The spacewalk replaced the gripping mechanism on Canadarm2, the latching end effector A, or LEE-A. The duration was 6 hours and 55 minutes.[12] On October 10, 2017, they completed the second EVA of the mission. They lubricated the newly installed end effector and replaced cameras, and the duration was 6 hours and 26 minutes.

The expedition ended on February 27, 2018 at 9:31 p.m. EST with Vande Hei's, Bresnik's, and third crew member Joseph M. Acaba's successful landing back on Earth.[3]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. "EVA information for Mark Vande Hei". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  2. NASA HQ (June 29, 2009). "NASA Selects New Astronauts for Future Space Exploration". NASA. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  3. NASA Television Coverage Set for Next International Space Station Crew Launch
  4. "Touchdown! Three Expedition 54 Crewmates Back on Earth – Space Station". Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  5. "Astronaut Bio: Mark T. Vande Hei (09/2009)". NASA. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  6. "Army astronaut retires after 27 years of service". U.S. Army. October 7, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  7. "NASA Announces Two Upcoming Undersea Missions". NASA. June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  8. Bergin, Chris (June 11, 2014). "NEEMO returns with two new underwater missions". NASASpaceflight. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  9. "NASA Updates 2017 International Space Station Crew Assignments". NASA. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  10. Deland, Dave (September 13, 2017). "Vande Hei '89 reaches orbit as first Johnnie astronaut". College of St. Benedict / St. John's University. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  11. Harwood, William. "Aging robot arm gets spacewalk surgery". cbsnews. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
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