Early life and educationEdit
Lt. Colonel Vande Hei, U.S. Army, 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 Arts 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. 
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. 
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. He is currently eligible for space flight missions, but he has not yet been selected for a mission. 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.
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.
- ↑ NASA HQ (June 29, 2009). "NASA Selects New Astronauts for Future Space Exploration". NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/ascans2009.html. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Astronaut Bio: Mark T. Vande Hei (09/2009)". NASA. http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/vande-hei.html. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- ↑ "NASA Announces Two Upcoming Undersea Missions". NASA. June 10, 2014. http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/june/nasa-announces-two-upcoming-undersea-missions/#.U6maKldj4jU. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- ↑ Bergin, Chris (June 11, 2014). "NEEMO returns with two new underwater missions". NASASpaceflight. http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/06/neemo-returns-two-new-underwater-missions/. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
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