Astronaut Frank Rubio Reflects on Year-Long Stay on International Space Station

Astronaut Frank Rubio, who is set to return to Earth after spending a year aboard the International Space Station (ISS), recently spoke to reporters about his extended mission. Rubio admitted that if he had been asked ahead of time if he would be willing to stay for a full year, he likely would have declined due to family commitments. However, once training began for the six-month mission, he was fully committed to completing the task at hand, stating that it was ultimately his job as an astronaut to get the mission done.

During his year-long stay, Rubio missed several important family milestones, including his daughter’s first year at the U.S. Naval Academy and his son’s freshman year at West Point. However, he recognized the sacrifices that come with the job, particularly when it comes to maintaining a permanently occupied space station for over 23 years.

In December of last year, a presumed micrometeoroid hit their docked Soyuz spacecraft, causing a critical coolant line to rupture. As a result, Rubio and his crewmates had to extend their stay for an additional six months while a replacement spacecraft was launched. Despite the unexpected extension, Rubio and his family had already come to terms with the situation and were prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.

Rubio, along with his Soyuz crewmates Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, will return to Earth next week, marking the end of their 371-day mission. This will be the third longest flight in space history and the longest ever for an American astronaut.

– Article: “‘And that’s only because of family’: NASA astronaut reflects on his extended year in space” by William Harwood, CBS News