NASA by way of AP
Astronaut Frank Rubio is approaching a yr in area, after breaking the report for the longest area journey in historical past by an American.
Rubio, who’s from Miami, graduated from the NASA astronaut program in 2019. He was launched into area for the primary time on Sep. 21, 2022, and can attain the one-year milestone on Thursday.
Final Monday — Sept. 11 — he surpassed Mark Vande Hei’s earlier report of 355 days for the longest spaceflight by an American astronaut, NASA stated.
“It has been a blended emotional curler coaster to a sure diploma as a result of personally, it was an unbelievable problem, and it was troublesome,” Rubio stated Tuesday in an interview from the Worldwide Area Station. “Professionally, it was extremely rewarding. It is an enormous honor and it is a privilege to signify our workplace and our workforce this fashion.”
When Rubio makes his anticipated return subsequent week, he may have spent 371 days in area.
The report for longest spaceflight general is held by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov — 437 days in the mid-1990s.
Rubio initially thought the mission can be six months lengthy, however the spacecraft he was aboard started leaking coolant and NASA stated it could not make a traditional return to Earth. So Russia’s area company, which has two cosmonauts on the craft with Rubio, has despatched an uncrewed spacecraft to the Worldwide Area Station to convey them dwelling.
Rubio stated when confronted with the challenges of the mission, he tried to remain optimistic, loosen up and talk with family members again dwelling. Having a superb workforce surrounding him additionally helped.
But when he had identified earlier than launch that the mission would final a yr, Rubio stated, he possible would have refused, as a result of it could be an excessive amount of time away from his spouse and 4 kids.
“However when you decide to the mission, when you’re part of the coaching, actually all of the belongings and all of the preparation that goes into you, the mission sort of counts on you.”
Earlier than he was an astronaut, Rubio was a lieutenant colonel within the U.S. Military, the place he flew Blackhawk helicopters and was a fight soldier throughout deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. Rubio additionally obtained his doctorate of drugs in 2010 and is licensed as a household doctor and flight surgeon, in response to his NASA biography.
NASA astronauts prepare for as much as two years earlier than embarking on a mission to area.
When beginning the mission, Rubio stated he felt queasy for a pair hours as his physique tailored to being with out gravity. He felt higher the following morning, he added.
When he returns to Earth, it might take two to 6 months for his physique to get used to strolling, standing and bearing weight once more.
Rubio stated he’s most wanting ahead to seeing his household once more, the peace and quiet of his yard and a recent salad.