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Astronaut sends message to Earth after 371 days stuck in space

Astronaut sends message to Earth after 371 days stuck in space

Editorial (Agence France-Presse). Salvadoran astronaut Frank Rubio broke the record for the longest orbital mission by a probe weHe spent more than 355 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

“In some ways, it was an incredible challenge. “But in other ways, it’s been an incredible blessing,” Rubio announced Wednesday from the International Space Station during a talk with NASA that was broadcast live.

After breaking the record on Monday, Rubio said he now hopes to reach 365 days. “I think this will be a good milestone for our nation,” he added.

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Rubio, the son of Salvadoran parents, was born in Los Angeles, California, and lived his early years in El Salvador. He is a doctor by training and a pilot helicopter.

The previous American record was set in 2022 by Mark Vandy, who spent 355 days in space. The world record is held by Russian astronaut Valery Polyakov with 437 days.

Rubio is scheduled to return to Earth on September 27. He will have spent 371 days in space by then.

The leak was not allowed to return

When Rubio traveled to the International Space Station last year aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket with two astronauts, the plan was for him to stay six months, the usual duration of a mission. a task.

Following standard procedures, this rocket remained docked at the ISS as an emergency escape vehicle if necessary, and was supposed to bring these three travelers home in December. But it had a leak, possibly due to a small meteorite impact.

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So Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, brought the rocket home and sent up another rocket with no crew on board.

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Rubio and his two companions carried out the crew mission that was initially supposed to travel to the International Space Station in the second rocket And replace it.

The American record for the number of days spent in space is held by former astronaut Peggy Whitson, with 675 days during various missions.