From the first trip to the Moon and beyond, NASA has been setting the kinds of records that inspire humanity, and they just keep setting the bar higher. For example, one astronaut recently logged his 355th day on the International Space Station. It probably felt like just another day at work for NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, but it was a really big deal down here on Earth: as Futurism reports, Rubio has now spent more consecutive days in orbit than any of the American astronauts before him.
Before Rubio casually set this new record, two other space voyagers competed for the top spot. NASA astronaut Mark Vande spent his own time aboard the International Space Station last year and came back down to Earth (quite literally) after 355 days.
NASA astronaut Frank Rubio has now spent more consecutive days in orbit, 355, than any other American.
Frank Rubio has now beaten this record, but it should be noted that this is only the American record: in terms of who has spent the most time in orbit in all of history, that honor goes to Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who once spent a whopping 437 consecutive days aboard the Russian space station Mir.
In case you are curious, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio isn’t in danger of beating the worldwide record. Assuming he sticks to his planned schedule, Rubio will be returning on September 27 and end his journey having spent 371 days in the depths of space. And based on some of his commentary, we are pretty confident that Rubio is looking forward to getting his feet back on the ground.
Rubio described the opportunities he has had as “an incredible blessing” and specifically mentioned that he had to periodically stop and remind himself of “this amazing view” that he has of the Earth below.
Thanks to the magic of modern technology, this NASA astronaut was able to talk to the entire world last Wednesday via a livestream. During that event, he touched on the somewhat paradoxical nature of his record-setting time in space: Rubio described the opportunities he has had as “an incredible blessing” and specifically mentioned that he had to periodically stop and remind himself of “this amazing view” that he has of the Earth below.
But having a front porch view that billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk can only dream of comes at a cost, and Rubio was blunt about the fact that his extended time in space had led to psychological hurdles that presented “a little bit of challenge” to the veteran NASA astronaut. Still, that challenge wasn’t enough to send Rubio home early, proving that NASA’s ability to select astronauts who have “the right stuff” hasn’t diminished after all these decades.
While setting the record is certainly an honor for Rubio, this wasn’t a record he was originally planning to beat. However, the capsule docked with the ISS began leaking last December, forcing him and the two cosmonauts he traveled alongside to stay on the space station much longer than any of them had originally planned. After all that time in space, we’re pretty confident this NASA astronaut will really enjoy his voyage home.
Rubio was blunt about the fact that his extended time in space had led to psychological hurdles that presented “a little bit of challenge” to the veteran NASA astronaut.
As for Rubio, we’re not sure if he’s a Star Trek fan, but he’s come closer than most to replicating life on Deep Space Nine than almost anyone down here on Earth. After all, he’s lived mostly in space this past year and spent his time with a crew of diverse spacers from every walk of life. If he should end up trying to tell us about any mysterious wormhole aliens after he gets back, then we should probably start scanning the planet for mysterious alien orbs sooner rather than later.