Astronaut Frank Rubio returns to Earth after record-breaking space

The NASA astronaut, of Salvadoran descent, set the American record for the longest continuous journey in space at 371 days.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio returned to Earth this Wednesday after more than a year spent in space aboard the international Russian Soyuz MS-23 mission. Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin also landed alongside Rubio in Kazakhstan.

In total, Frank Rubio spent 371 days in space aboard the International Space Station, much more than the six months that were originally planned for the astronaut, who is of Salvadoran descent. The reason for this delay was a coolant leak in their ship that collided with space debris.

With this trip, Rubio completed the longest continuous space journey by an American. He is also the only American to have spent an entire year in orbit around the Earth. Rubio is also the first astronaut of Salvadoran origin to go to space. The previous American to hold the record for the longest time in space was Mark Vande Hei, who spent just two weeks less than Rubio during his voyage in 2022. "It's good to be home," the astronaut said after landing.

Despite this achievement by Rubio, Russia continues to hold the world record for the longest continuous trip in space at 437 days, which it achieved in the 1990s.