A NASA astronaut approaches a year in space, the longest time for any American

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio is set to mark a year in space, breaking the previous record for the longest space trip by an American.

Breaking records: Rubio, a Miami native, bested the previous American record of 355 days set by Mark Vande Hei, according to NASA.
* Rubio was launched into space for the first time on September 21, 2022, and will mark one year in space on Thursday.

Mission’s challenge: Despite some challenges, including a coolant leak in the spacecraft, Rubio described the mission as “incredibly rewarding.”
* Rubio noted it was a “huge honor and a privilege” to represent NASA, but admitted he would likely have declined the mission had he known it would extend to a year due to the time spent away from his family.

Getting back on Earth: Rubio estimates that it could take between two to six months for his body to readjust upon his return to Earth.
* The astronaut also mentioned looking forward to seeing his family, enjoying the tranquillity of his backyard, and having a fresh salad once back on Earth.

In context: The overall record of longest spaceflight is held by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who spent 437 days in space in the mid-1990s.
* Before becoming an astronaut, Rubio served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, flying Blackhawk helicopters and serving as a combat soldier during deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia. He also is a certified family physician and flight surgeon.

View original article on NPR

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