ST. LOUIS PARK - A Benilde-Saint Margaret's High School graduate is heading to the International Space Station.

A rocket carrying NASA astronauts launched Tuesday afternoon in Kazakhastan.

One of those men heading to the International Space Station, Astronaut Mark Vande Hei, is a 1985 graduate of Benilde-Saint Margaret's High School in Saint Louis Park.

The Minnesota native will spend five months on the International Space Station. In his honor, members of the student body displayed pride by wearing red, white and blue.

This is Vande Hei's first trip to space.

Lizzie McCracken and other current students said Vande Hei is inspiring.

Vande Hei is a retired U.S. army colonel and NASA astronaut.