US Astronaut to Ride Russian Spacecraft Home During Tensions

U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei has made it through nearly a year in space, but faces what could be his trickiest assignment yet: riding a Russian capsule back to Earth in the midst of deepening tensions between the countries.

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In this photo provided by NASA, U.S. astronaut and Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei peers at the Earth below from inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station's window to the world on Feb. 4, 2022. The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship is docked to the Rassvet module in the background. Vande Hei has made it through nearly a year in space, but in March 2022 faces what could be his trickiest assignment yet: riding a Russian capsule back to Earth in the midst of deepening tensions between the countries. (Kayla Barron/NASA via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Kayla Barron

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei has made it through nearly a year in space, but faces what could be his trickiest assignment yet: riding a Russian capsule back to Earth in the midst of deepening tensions between the countries. NASA insists Vande Hei’s homecoming plans at the end of the month remain unchanged, even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in canceled launches, broken contracts and an escalating war…

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