Salvadoran-American astronaut Frank Rubio returned today aboard the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft to Earth after 371 days in space, making him the NASA astronaut with the most continuous days in space and the first Latin American to achieve this feat.
Rubio (47 years old) landed in the Russian landing capsule from the International Space Station at 11:17 GMT in the Kazakh steppes southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan, accompanied by astronauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin.
After the second Soyuz spacecraft left, the NASA astronaut said, giving a thumbs up and smiling all the while, “It’s good to be home,” meaning back to Earth.
On the 19th, in his last call from the International Space Station, a NASA astronaut declared this day to be a “unique milestone in American spaceflight.”
Rubio, the first astronaut of Salvadoran descent to travel to space and the twelfth Hispanic to do so, returned to Earth after being on board the International Space Station with four different crews and two records to his credit.
He is the NASA astronaut in Latin America with the largest number of continuous days in space after surpassing Mark Vande Heij on September 11 with 355 consecutive days on the International Space Station.
Moreover, Rubio, who was born in Los Angeles but whose mother, Mirna Argueta, still lives in El Salvador, is the first Latin American to achieve this number and the number of days accumulated in space, after completing his first mission on board the spacecraft. Space platform. A Spanish citizen proud of his community
He said that it is a great honor to represent Latin America, and that “the message to young people is to continue working and studying, and that anything is possible.” It is important for our community to move forward and continue to improve our country. I believe that Latinos will be a big part of America in the future,” he stressed in his latest remarks from space on the 19th.
The Spanish astronaut admitted that if he had known before he began his training for this mission that he would remain on the International Space Station for more than a year, he would most likely have rejected NASA’s offer, mainly because he missed important family events during his year in space. He wiped out space.
Rubio thanked his wife Deborah and four teenage children for their support, as their “resilience and strength” helped him overcome this entire task, for which he had been preparing for five years.
More context: Frank Rubio: ‘Lucky’ astronaut for record time in space
Astronaut Frank Rubio returns to Earth holding a record for NASA and Latin America
In total, the astronaut’s mission, who considers Miami his home and was chosen by NASA in 2017, covered 253.3 million kilometers and 5,963 times around the Earth.
Rubio achieved his records not because his mission was to last more than a year, but because he was stranded for more than six months on the International Space Station. A record of gratitude or despite the collapse
The Hispanic-American astronaut launched on September 21, 2022 aboard the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft and was initially scheduled to return in March 2023.
But in mid-December last year, the Russian space agency Roscosmos discovered a malfunction in the cooling system in the ship’s outer hull due to the influence of micromoid.
This made it extremely risky for Rubio, Prokopyev and Petilin to return on board this Russian ship, which returned on March 28 without a crew to the Russian Baikonur cosmodrome.
Roscosmos sent an unmanned replacement spacecraft, Soyuz MS-23, to the International Space Station on February 24 to pick up a NASA astronaut and two cosmonauts and finally return them to Earth today.
Frank Rubio admitted last week that it was difficult when “the decision became real” to stay on the international orbital platform for a year.
In this sense, he also commented that the “psychological factor” was more stressful than he thought on the ISS, but it helped him to have an excellent team around him, to stay busy and at the same time have time to relax, and above all, to stay in touch. With your loved ones at home.
It will take Rubio two to six months on Earth to fully recover from his mission, he said.
Once he arrives home in California from Houston, where a NASA plane will take him from Kazakhstan, he just wants to “hug” his wife and kids for a while.
He admitted that he “enjoys the trees and the silence” in his garden, as the ISS has a constant noise of machinery.
With information from EFE
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