NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei may spend a year in space after his launch in April — and if that’s the case, he’ll welcome the opportunity, Vande Hei said Monday (March 15) in his first news conference since NASA announced his flight last week.

Typically, astronauts spend about six and a half months on the International Space Station, living and working in orbit. But a separate project of NASA’s Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, could mean that Vande Hei must remain in space longer before he can catch a ride back to Earth. If so, that would be just fine with him, he told reporters in a televised news conference on NASA TV on Monday.