24/7 Space News
SPACE TRAVEL
US astronaut gets used to Earth after record-setting 371 days in space
ADVERTISEMENT
US astronaut gets used to Earth after record-setting 371 days in space
by AFP Staff Writers
Houston (AFP) Oct 14, 2023

After spending more than a year in space, Frank Rubio now has to get used to that pesky thing Earthlings call gravity.

"Walking hurts a little bit the first few days, the soles of your feet and lower back," he said at a news conference Friday at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

"I think there is a certain level of pain that comes with the fact that your lower back now supports half your weight."

Rubio returned to Earth two weeks ago after spending 371 days in space, having taken off in September of last year aboard a Russian rocket for what was supposed to be a routine, six-month mission.

The Soyuz spacecraft that was supposed to bring them back was docked at the International Space Station to be used as an emergency backup vehicle. But then it sprung a coolant leak in December, probably due to a micrometeoroid.

So as a precaution, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, returned the vessel to Earth.

It sent another, empty one -- which meant there would be space for Rubio and company to return, but they'd have to pick up the mission slated for the crew originally meant to be on that second ship.

"The fact that I was going to spend a whole year cooped up was a kind of torture for me, because I love being outside," Rubio said.

"But that's part of the mission. It took a little bit of a mental shift and saying, 'Hey, this is my world for the next 12 months and I have to deal with that.'"

But the misadventure allowed this son of Salvadoran immigrants to grab the record for the longest time an American has spent in space, breaking the 2022 record set by Mark Vande Hei, at 355 consecutive days.

The world record is held by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Poliakov, at 437 days.

"For the first few days (back on Earth) you drift to the right or to the left as you try to walk straight," he says.

"Your mind is perfectly clear, but your body just doesn't respond the way you expect it to."

During his stay at the ISS, Rubio notched another potential first when he grew a tomato.

"I think what was the first tomato in space," he said.

He put it in "a little bag" and fastened it down with Velcro, but ended up losing track of it.

Rubio spent hours looking for it to no avail. It may have dried out and been mistaken for garbage.

But "some people will say I probably ate it," he jokes.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
SPACE TRAVEL
Russian ISS segment springs third leak in under a year
Moscow (AFP) Oct 9, 2023
The Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) sprung its third coolant leak in under a year Monday, raising new questions about the reliability of the country's space program even as officials said crew members were not in danger. Flakes of frozen coolant spraying into space were seen in an official live feed of the orbital lab provided by NASA around 1:30 pm Eastern Time (1730 GMT), and confirmed in radio chatter between US mission control and astronauts. "The Nauka module of th ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
SPACE TRAVEL
India launches key test for manned orbital mission

India wants a space station by 2035, moon mission by 2040

US astronaut gets used to Earth after record-setting 371 days in space

Planetary Scientist Alan Stern Joins Virgin Galactic for Research Mission

SPACE TRAVEL
'No prospects': Russians slowly leaving legendary spaceport city

SpaceX Achieves Back-to-Back Starlink Satellite Launches to Expand Global Internet Coverage

NASA's innovative rocket nozzle paves way for deep space missions

New SwRI chamber simulates harsh acoustic environment of rocket launches

SPACE TRAVEL
Sampling Sequoia: Sols 3984-3986

Welcome to the Drillhole Family, 'Sequoia': Sols 3982-3983: Welcome

Taking a Rain Check: Sols 3977-3979

Cliffhangers go by the name of 'Stand By' in Mission Ops: Sols 3980-3981

SPACE TRAVEL
Women sci-fi writer numbers rocketing in China

Next-generation rocket for China's manned space missions on track

Chinese sci-fi fans over the moon at Chengdu Worldcon

Chinese sci-fi steps into the spotlight

SPACE TRAVEL
Launch of Ovzon 3 targeted for as soon as December 2023

Urban Sky announces $9.75M Series A funding round

Berkeley Space Center at NASA Ames to become innovation hub for new aviation, space technology

Shield Capital closes $186M inaugural venture capital fund

SPACE TRAVEL
Revolutionary atomic sensor redefines radio wave antenna

Terran Orbital opens new printed circuit board assembly facility

NASA seeks development of universal payload interface

Star trackers emerge as new tool for high-precision space debris detection

SPACE TRAVEL
Webb detects tiny quartz crystals in clouds of hot gas giant

Extreme habitats: Microbial life in Old Faithful Geyser

Researchers capture first-ever afterglow of huge planetary collision in outer space

Astronomers discover first step toward planet formation

SPACE TRAVEL
NASA's Webb Discovers New Feature in Jupiter's Atmosphere

Plot thickens in hunt for ninth planet

Large mound structures on Kuiper belt object Arrokoth may have common origin

Plot thickens in the hunt for a ninth planet

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.