(NEWS CENTER) - For Astronaut Chris Cassidy, it all began right here in York, Maine.
And now, he's gearing up for a 6-month trip to the International Space Station, set to launch on March 28th.
Chris is just the 500th person to leave earth, making space exploration still very rare.
but this mission is even more unique because Chris is taking off *and* landing on foreign soil.
He is launching from Kazakhstan, meaning he will be commanded by Russians.
Along with all the physical and mental training for this journey, he's also had to become fluent in Russian to communicate with his teammates aboard the space shuttle.
He spoke with us on the MORNING REPORT Friday morning.