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Minnesota-born astronaut Mark Vanderhei not in danger of being abandoned in space station

Minnesota-born U.S. astronaut Mark Vanderhei is still expected to return to Earth on March 30.

In the last few days there have been supposedly been threats from Russia to abandon a Minnesota-born American astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Mark Vanderhei has been aboard The International Space Station since April of last year.
Vandehei is expected return to parachute to Earth in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship on March 30, with a NASA astronaut record-breaking 355 consecutive days in Earth orbit. He will surpass Scott Kelly’s 340 days on Tuesday, March 15.
The problem is Russia has been providing the pickup and delivery service of astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS. On Feb. 26, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s Space Agency, responded to U.S. sanctions with a series of hostile tweets, threatening to leave Vandehei behind in space and detach Russia’s segment of the space station altogether.
Roscosmos TV provided footage for the video, but in sharing, the network acknowledged the video was a “joke.
Vandehei, of Houston Texas, was born in Minnesota and went to St. John’s University. His sister, Lisa Dawson, lives in Willmar. Dawson says her brother isn’t too worried, and they are hoping the talk from the Russian space agency is all hype.
In addition, U.S. sources point out that Vandehei could not be abandoned. At present, three other Americans are living on board the International Space Station, as well as an allied astronaut from Germany. NASA has its own transportation to and from the station, so Vandehei can be brought home whenever NASA wants.

(This article contains information from NASA, ABC News, and JP Cola/KWLM.)

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