Back to Earth: Frank Rubio Returns With The Record Of 371 Days In Space

Salvadoran astronaut Frank Rubio returned to Earth after 371 days in space. Thus, he becomes the record holder for the most days outside the planet .

Frank Rubio

Photo: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)


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Leer en español: De vuelta a la Tierra: Frank Rubio regresa con el récord de 371 días en el espacio

American astronaut of Salvadoran origin Frank Rubio and cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitri Petelin returned to Earth today after 371 days on the International Space Station (ISS), which makes the Hispanic the NASA astronaut with the most continuous days in space.

The Russian Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft touched down at 11:17 GMT 148 kilometers southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan, in the Kazakh steppe, almost four hours after undocking from the Russian Prichal module of the ISS.

200 military personnel, Mi8 helicopters, An-12 and An-26 aircraft, as well as PEM-1 and PEM rescue vehicles participated in the operation to find and remove the crew from the descent capsule, according to the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

The first to leave the Soyuz was Prokopiev, followed by Rubio, who left the capsule with a big smile and showing his thumbs up, and Petelin.

Read also: India's Space Mission Successfully Lands On The Moon's South Pole

The trio returned to solid ground after 371 days in space and making 5,963 trips around the Earth with the ISS.

Rubio and his Russian companions arrived at the international orbital platform on September 21, 2022 and were due to return last March, but they were stranded on the ISS for six months due to a breakdown in the cooling circuit of the Soyuz MS-22 that caused them I had to return to dry land. This meant that they had to stay six months longer than planned in space.

Frank Rubio's records

And that is why Rubio, 47, became the new holder of the absolute record for an American astronaut with the most continuous days in space on the 11th, surpassing his predecessor, Mark Vande Hei, who had spent 355 consecutive days in the ISS.

The astronaut of Salvadoran origin, who was born in Los Angeles but whose mother still lives in El Salvador, was the twelfth Hispanic astronaut to fly to the station. With his 371 days in space, he is now the Hispanic astronaut with the most days on the international orbital platform. All of this on his first mission, for which Rubio had prepared for five years.

In fact, for the three crew members who returned to Earth today , it is the longest continuous flight in the entire history of the ISS.

Previous records for Hispanics and Latinos

The previous records were recorded at the Russian MIR station. There, cosmonauts Valery Poliakov and Sergei Avdeyev spent 437 (1994-1995) and 379 days (1998-1999), respectively, in space.

Before Rubio, other Hispanics set foot on the ISS: Ellen Ochoa of Mexican origin; Miguel López-Alegría, born in Madrid; Carlos Noriega, of Peruvian roots; Franklin Chang-Díaz, American-Costa Rican; the Spanish Pedro Duque and Marcos Pontes from Brazil; and John D. "Danny" Olivas, of Mexican origin.

Also flying to the international orbital platform was the Colombian-American George Zamka; Joseph "Joe" Hace, of Puerto Rican roots; José Hernández, of Mexican origin, and Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Cuban-American.

After landing, Rubio, Prokopiev and Petelin will be transferred to a recovery center in Karaganda, Kazakhstan , and from there the NASA astronaut will fly to Houston on a US space agency plane.

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