NASA astronaut sets new US record with over a year stay in space.
American astronaut sets new record of 371-day spaceflight, lands in Kazakhstan.
A NASA space explorer holds the record for the longest U.S. spaceflight after returning to Earth Wednesday, yet the accomplishment didn’t come intentionally.
American Frank Rubio and two Russian cosmonauts were stuck in space for just over a year. The trio landed in a remote area of Kazakhstan, descending in a Soyuz capsule that was rushed up as a replacement after their original ride was hit by space junk and lost all its coolant while docked at the International Space Station.
The mission that should have been 180 days in length transformed into 371 days, which implied Rubio spent about fourteen days longer in space than Mark Vande Hei, who held NASA’s past perseverance record for a solitary spaceflight.
Simply last week, Rubio said he would have declined his space mission had he realized he would be in a orbit so lengthy.
“If they had asked me upfront before you start training, because you do train for a year or two years before your mission, I probably would’ve declined,” Rubio told reporters from the ISS during a NASA press conference. “That’s only because of family things that were going on this past year.”
“Had I known that I had to miss those very important events, I just would have had to say, ‘thank you, but no thank you,’” he added.
The substitution Soyuz container that brought Rubio and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin back was sent off in February.
“It’s great to be home,” Rubio, a 47-year-old Armed Force specialist and helicopter pilot, said after being pulled from the container.
Russia holds the world record of 437 days, set during the 1990s.