NASA astronaut Frank Rubio returned to Earth on September 27, 2023, after a record-breaking 371 days in space. He landed safely in Kazakhstan with his crewmates, Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin.
Rubio’s mission was originally scheduled to last only 6 months, but it was extended due to a coolant leak in his Soyuz spacecraft. Despite the unexpected extension, Rubio made the most of his time in space, conducting scientific experiments and helping to maintain the International Space Station.
During his mission, Rubio completed approximately 5,936 orbits and a journey of more than 157 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 328 trips to the Moon and back. He also witnessed the arrival and departure of 15 visiting spacecraft.
Rubio’s return to Earth is a significant milestone for American spaceflight. He is now the record holder for the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut, breaking the record previously held by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei.
Rubio’s mission is also a reminder of the importance of international cooperation in space exploration. He and his Russian crewmates worked together seamlessly throughout their mission, demonstrating that even during times of political tension, nations can come together to achieve great things.
Rubio’s mission is an inspiration to us all. It shows that with hard work, dedication, and perseverance, anything is possible.