WATCH: NASA Astronaut Frank Rubio Will Discuss Longest Single Spaceflight in History by an American Oct. 13
By NASA information center // October 5, 2023
spent a total of 371 days in space
(NASA) – NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, back on Earth after breaking the record for the longest single spaceflight in history by an American, will participate in a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 13, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Rubio’s extended mission aboard the International Space Station led to a total of 371 days in space.
Extended missions provide researchers the opportunity to better observe the effects of long-duration spaceflight on astronauts as the agency returns to the Moon with the Artemis missions and prepares for human exploration of Mars.
Rubio launched Sept. 21, 2022, alongside Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin. The trio returned to Earth Sept. 27. The 371 day-mission is the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut, a record previously held by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei with 355 days.
Rubio completed approximately 5,936 orbits of the Earth and a journey of more than 157 million miles during his first spaceflight, roughly the equivalent of 328 trips to the Moon and back.
He witnessed the arrival of 15 visiting spacecraft and the departure of 14 visiting spacecraft, including both crewed and cargo missions.
During his record-breaking mission, Rubio spent many hours contributing to scientific activities aboard the orbiting laboratory, conducting everything from human health studies to plant research.
One study evaluated the command of multiple autonomous robots from space and what challenges might exist for the orbit-to-ground remote operation of robots.
He also tended to space tomatoes to test hydroponic (water-based) and aeroponic (air-based) growth techniques rather than soil or other traditional growth media to help identify ways to produce crops on a larger scale for future space missions.
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