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Vande Hei ready for liftoff as first Johnnie astronaut

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August 21, 2017

By Dave DeLand as seen in the Saint John's Magazine

Mark Vande HeiHis first career choice as a 6-year-old was to be Spider-Man.

His second was to be an astronaut.

They both seemed unlikely, but that dream will come true this fall for Mark Vande Hei '89 as he blasts off for a 5½-month mission aboard the International Space Station. He is the first Johnnie astronaut.

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Watch Mark Vande Hei’s launch Sept. 12

A launch party for the Soyuz MS-06 capsule carrying Saint John’s University graduate Mark Vande Hei ’89 and two others will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12 at Pellegrene Auditorium on the SJU campus.

The launch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Collegeville time (3 a.m. Sept. 13 in Kazakhstan). NASA’s television feed will be broadcast on the big screen at Pellegrene, and the public is invited.