Frank RubioNASA astronaut who spent the longest time in space successfully returned to Earth this Wednesday. Thus ended the journey of the American, the son of a Salvadoran. 371 consecutive days outside of our planet.

The Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-23, on which Frank Rubio and cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelinen returned, landed in the steppe of Kazakhstan at 07:17 ET – 13:17 Spain – after a journey that lasted just over three hours from the time it undocked from the International Space Station.

Thus, Rubio returned safely after participating in the longest NASA astronaut mission in space. Let us recall that in the middle of this month the above-mentioned broke the record of Mark Vande Hei, who set a record of 355 days between April 2021 and March 2022.

What’s interesting about Frank Rubio’s case is that his long stay on the International Space Station This wasn’t planned. It arrived at the orbiting laboratory in September 2022 on a six-month mission. Therefore, he should have returned to Earth sometime in March of this year. However, the damage suffered by the Soyuz MS-22 in December last year due to the impact of a micrometeorite changed plans.

NASA and Roscosmos were forced to undock the ship in question and organize a rescue plan. It consisted of sending the Soyuz MS-23 with supplies in February and extend the stay of Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelinen until September. Today, all three were finally able to board and begin their journey home.

Landing of the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft in Kazakhstan. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls, via NASA Headquarters Photos on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Frank Rubio, NASA’s record-breaking astronaut, is already on Earth

On the occasion of Frank Rubio’s return to Earth, NASA shared some very interesting statistics from his 371 days in space. During his stay on the International Space Station, the astronaut orbited our planet about 5,936 times. Although the most shocking fact is that he has driven almost 157.5 million charter miles. That is, the equivalent of approximately 328 round trips to the Moon.

But that is not all. Frank Rubio also witnessed the arrival of 15 spacecraft to the ISS during his space journey. According to the American space agency, there were 7 Dragons from SpaceX, 2 Soyuz from Roscosmos and 6 cargo ships (4 Progress from the Russian agency and 2 Cygnus from the American Northrop Grumman).

Frank Rubio, NASA's record-breaking astronaut, is already on Earth
Frank Rubio after returning to Earth. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls, via NASA Headquarters Photos on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

In addition to surpassing Vande Hei by just over two weeks, Frank Rubio became first American astronaut in history to spend more than a year away from Earth. In any case, his 371 days in orbit were not enough to set the definitive record for most consecutive days in space.

This merit still belongs to Russia. Valery Polyakovwho spent 437 days and 18 hours aboard the Mir orbital station from June 8, 1994 to March 22, 1995. In fact, experts believe that the aforementioned astronaut’s record of just over 678 days in space during his career may never break.

Source: Hiper Textual

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