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NASA astronaut Frank Rubio returns from record-breaking space mission

2023-09-27 17:33:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio returns from record-breaking space mission

NASA's record-breaking astronaut Frank Rubio has finally returned to Earth, feeling the planet's gravitational pull for the first time in more than a year.

Rubio and his two Russian colleagues - cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin - parachuted to a landing in Kazakhstan aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-23 capsule at 5:17 pm local time on Wednesday.

The arrival of the crew marked the end of a long — and unexpected — journey for Rubio, who was scheduled to spend just six months aboard the International Space Station. Instead, he spent a total of 371 days in space.

Rubio's stay set a new record for the longest time an American astronaut has ever spent in microgravity. He also became the first American to log an entire calendar year in orbit.

In a recent interview with CNN, Rubio said that if he had known his stay on the space station would be twice as long as originally planned, he "probably would have turned down" the assignment before starting training. .

Rubio, who has four children, is now expected to begin the journey home from the Soyuz landing site near the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. He will first fly to Karaganda before boarding a flight to Houston./ CNA

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