OAN’s Abril Elfi
3:45 PM – Wednesday, September 27, 2023
A United States NASA astronaut and two Russian astronauts, referred to as “cosmonauts,” returned to Earth after being in space for over a year.
On Wednesday, Frank Rubio, who set a record for the longest U.S. spaceflight, and his two cosmonauts returned to earth after being in space for 371 days.
The trio reportedly landed in a remote part of Kazakhstan in a Soyuz capsule. The capsule was utilized as a replacement after their previous flight was damaged by “space junk” and lost all of its coolant while connected to the International Space Station (ISS).
Rubio’s mission was only supposed to last six months, however, on the day of a scheduled spacewalk in December 2022, an exterior leak was noticed from Soyuz MS-22, which was later revealed to be caused by a micrometeorite strike.
Since the spacecraft was unable to complete a crew return, the three astronauts’ stay was extended by six months. MS-22 returned to Earth unmanned, and MS-23 was launched in February 2023 as a replacement.
Rubio, a 47-year-old Army doctor and helicopter pilot, stated at a news conference last week that if he was given a choice, he would have never accepted a full year in space.
Rubio also said that he regretted missing major family milestones, such as his oldest child finishing her first year at the United States Naval Academy and another child’s departure to West Point.
“It’s good to be home,” Rubio said after being pulled from the capsule.
Reportedly, they logged 157 million miles since launching last September and circled the world nearly 6,000 times.
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