US Astronaut Vande Hei Returns from ISS on Russian Capsule

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    The Facts

    • Astronaut Mark Vande Hei has returned as scheduled from the International Space Station (ISS) in a Russian Soyuz capsule after a US record 355 days in space.

    • Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov also returned on the capsule, which landed in Kazakhstan.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The uncertainty that surounded this effort after the Russian invasion of Ukraine should be a wakeup call that the US has to do more to improve its space program and separate itself from Russia when it comes to the ISS. Dependency on Russia carries high costs and serious risks.

    Narrative B

    Not only is the ISS an important tool for science, it's also a powerful symbol of human cooperation in a world filled with strife. It would be a sad day for everyone if the partnership breaks up over geopolitical tensions.


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