NASA Astronaut Marks One Year Aboard Space Station

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Astronaut Frank Rubio marked a year in space on Thursday, September 21, NASA said, nearing the end of a mission to the International Space Station that was meant to last only six months.

Rubio arrived at the ISS with cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin on September 21 last year, and he set the record for the longest stay in space by an American on September 11.

He is now due to return to Earth on September 27, after 371 days in space. Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov holds the overall record for time in space, having spent 437 days on the Mir space station in the 1990s.

Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin were originally intended to spend six months aboard the ISS, but a leak in their original spacecraft meant it returned to Earth unmanned, extending their stay.

NASA released a video recap of Rubio’s mission.

“The International Space Station provides a really unique platform where we can study the hardest part of space exploration, which is human presence. Unfortunately, we are pretty complicated to keep alive in outer space,” Rubio says in the video. Credit: NASA via Storyful