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US astronaut breaks NASA record for longest mission to orbit Earth

Ihor Romanko

American astronaut Frank Rubio broke NASA's record for the longest solo mission into space

Astronaut Frank Rubio has set a new record for the longest mission in orbit for an American, spending more than 355 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

During a live-streamed interaction with NASA, Rubio expressed his impression of the achievement, "In a sense it was an incredible challenge. But in other ways it was an incredible blessing," Sciense Alert wrote in the astronaut's words.

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Breaking the previous record of an American set by Mark Vande in 2022, Rubio said he hopes he can achieve 365 days in orbit. He is a doctor and helicopter pilot by training.

Rubio is scheduled to return to Earth on 27 September, at which point he will have completed 371 days in space.

This mission was different from the usual plans. Initially, Rubio planned to spend six months on the ISS, as astronauts usually do. But because of a leak on his previous spacecraft, probably caused by a meteorite strike, Roscosmos decided to send him back to Earth sooner, and another uncrewed spacecraft was sent to replace it.

During his mission, Rubio saw the arrivals and departures of different crews, a total of 28 people of different nationalities. He emphasised that this is very impressive, as it represents about 5% of the total number of people who have ever been in space.

Regarding life on the ISS, Rubio noted that it was a challenge psychologically, but he focused on working and performing experiments in orbit. He also noted that housing on the ISS is somewhat cramped compared to a typical five-bedroom house.

Recently set by the astronaut record for the number of days in space refers to former astronaut Peggy Whitson, who spent 675 days in orbit during several missions.

We remind, earlier scientists proved that the Earth's satellite - the Moon has a solid metallic core.

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