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.
HOME! Frank Rubio is back on solid ground after orbiting Earth 5,963 times. pic.twitter.com/4W3jCAM6Dd
— NASA Astronauts (@NASA_Astronauts) September 27, 2023
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.
After 371 days in space and 5,963 orbits around the world, NASA Astronaut Frank Rubio and his crewmates just landed back on Earth, touching down at 7:17 a.m. ET. pic.twitter.com/0wZZLhcK2b
— NASA's Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) September 27, 2023
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.
🇺🇸🇸🇻 | El astronauta Frank Rubio, estadounidense de origen salvadoreño, se vio obligado a quedarse en órbita debido a una falla en su nave. Ahora, tras 371 días y 5.963 vueltas alrededor de la Tierra, su nave ha aterrizado y reunirá con su familia.
— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) September 27, 2023
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.