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A Year in Space

Rubio takes a spacewalk outside the ISS on November 15, 2022. NASA

Frank Rubio is an astronaut. On September 27, 2023, he broke a record. He completed the longest U.S. spaceflight. When he got back, he ate a salad. That’s the food he craved most while at the International Space Station.

Rubio’s mission should have lasted 180 days. But it lasted 371. There was a leak on the ship that was meant to bring him home. That delayed his return.

Here, he talks about his time in space.

What is a typical day like in space?

We do tons of experiments. We also have to keep ourselves healthy. I enjoy exercise. Exercising helps with my mental health. We spend a lot of time taking care of the station, too. Every once in a while, we get to do some really cool things. Like a spacewalk. Every day is very busy.

Rubio gives astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi a haircut on March 18, 2021. The trimmer sucks up loose hair. Then it doesn’t float around the ISS.


Was it hard to be away from family?

That’s the biggest challenge. But you’re able to call Earth anytime you want. And you can video chat.

What was your favorite moment?

Launch was fantastic. It was everything I thought it was going to be. Then you get to space. You see the Earth for the first time. Then you go out and do a spacewalk. The fact that you’re able to live in space for a full year? It’s mind-blowing. The whole year was full of incredible experiences. They were once-in-a-lifetime.

Would you like to go back?

Absolutely. But I don’t know if I’d want to break the record again! If I’m able to go back, great. If I’m not, hopefully I can help get somebody else back to the moon.