NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei( van-da-high) is ending his record-breaking 355-day stay in space. Vande Hei has spent more time on the International space Station than any other American astronaut.
He and two Russian cosmonauts are on their way back to Earth after boarding a Russian Soyuz ( SOY-ooz ) spacecraft and leaving the space Station a little after midnight Eastern Time. They're expected to make a parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan around 7:30 am Eastern Time.
Of course, the return has not been without controversy –as Russia had "suggested" Vande Hei might be left behind. NASA officials and the astronauts themselves have made it pretty clear that’s not happening.