HomeWorld NewsAfter landing in Kazakhstan, American astronaut said, 'It's good to be home'.


US astronaut Frank Rubio, who broke the record for the longest continuous spaceflight by an American, and two Russian astronauts landed in the steppe of Kazakhstan on Wednesday after more than a year aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Their Soyuz MS-23 capsule lifted off from the ISS one minute ahead of schedule, and took about three and a half hours to reach Earth, landing southeast of the city of Zhezkazghan.

“It’s good to be home,” Rubio, 47, said with a smile after landing with Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev, 48, and Dmitry Petelin, 40.

Asked how his crew mates were, Rubio said: “Great, yeah, everybody did really well.”

Also read: NASA’s Crew-7 mission sent four astronauts to ISS

Rubio was given a Russian matryoshka doll, while Prokopyev was shown near the capsule smiling and holding a watermelon, which he had requested upon landing. When asked what he brought back from space, he said, “Good mood.”

Russian mission control in Star City outside Moscow said the crew was feeling good after more than a year on the ISS. They landed on time at 1117 GMT.

Rubio, who is on his first space flight, was shown being escorted out of the capsule, which was dark due to the temperatures of re-entry. He gave a thumbs up wave as Russian and American space officials took his blood pressure and heart rate and covered him with a blanket.

The three men were delayed six months in returning because their original spacecraft sprang a leak so a replacement had to be sent to bring them back. This gave them an unexpectedly extended mission of 371 days in orbit.

record rubio

On September 11, Rubio surpassed the previous NASA record of 355 consecutive days in space held by now-retired American astronaut Mark Vande Hei. Rubio is also the first American to spend an entire year in space.

Although Rubio broke the American record, he and his Russian colleagues are far from the world record set by Russia’s Valery Polyakov, who spent 437 consecutive days and 18 hours in space during the Mir space station mission between January 1994 and March 1995. Polyakov died last September. 80.

Roscosmos said Prokopyev has spent a total of more than 567 days in space, including previous trips.

Rubio, the son of Salvadoran parents who was born in Los Angeles but raised in Miami, is a board-certified family physician and flight surgeon, a one-time U.S. Army Special Forces officer and a decorated Blackhawk helicopter pilot. Which flew combat missions in Bosnia. Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft (left) carrying Roscosmos astronauts Sergei Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, Sept. 27, 2023.  Photo: Reuters

The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft (left) carrying Roscosmos astronauts Sergei Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, Sept. 27, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Speaking to reporters from orbit eight days before returning to Earth, Rubio said that if he had known in advance that the mission would last at least a year, he probably would have declined his first space flight.

Rubio, who is married and has four children, cited family obligations, but ultimately said he felt honored and took the mission expansion seriously.

He said it will take several months for him to regain a full sense of balance and strength after prolonged exposure to microgravity and that he is looking forward to the peace of his backyard compared to the constant hum of drones and machinery while aboard the ISS .

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