The astronaut Frank Rubio he left on September 21 in the Russian Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft on a mission that would take six months. But technical problems They delayed their return, which is now estimated for September 2023.
As the date of return to earth approached, the Soyuz MS-22 received bad news. The ship that carries and brings back the astronauts, had a technical problem (leak in the cooling system, apparently caused by space junk). This inconvenience made a safe trip is unfeasible.
In February, the Russians were ready to send the Progress MS-21 spacecraft to the rescue, but they also detected a problem in the cooling system. After thoroughly inspecting and ruling out a design flaw, the Soyuz MS-23 was sent to the International Space Station on February 24, with half a ton of cargo, including food, clothing and items to clean the station.
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As reported, that would be the ship in which Rubio along with the Russian cosmonauts Serguei Prokopiev and Dmitri Petelin, they could return to Earth. Although it would only be in September 2023.
On March 28, the damaged Soyuz MS-22 returned to Earth to be inspected and, most important of all, the issue of rescuing astronauts and cosmonauts was settled, in a scenario of strange cooperation between Russia and the United Statesin the midst of the political crisis unleashed by the invasion of Ukraine.
Frank Rubio’s trajectory
He was born in the United States under the name Francisco Rubio. Grew up in El Salvador, studied in Colombia and returned to his native country to enlist in the Army. Defending the country from him he was a paratrooper and pilot with 600 flight hours in combat missions in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, among other achievements.
Surgeon “Frank” Rubio was selected by NASA from among 18,000 applicants to join the class of 2017 astronaut candidates. He entered service in August of that year and, after completing initial training, was chosen for a mission space.
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Salvadoran and Latino
interviewed by Univision and published by the agency DWRubio was unconcerned about the possibility of breaking the record for stays at the station, and rather said that he would be happy to return to Earth earlier “to be with my family” (he is married with 4 children).
He also talked about his experiments with hydroponic and aeroponic crops, with which he seeks to advance in the sustainable cultivation of food for future trips to the Moon and Mars. “These experiments serve to find out how plants grow in a space environment,” he explained.
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In a tour of his childhood, the astronaut expressed: “I spent my first six years in El Salvador, my first memories are from El Salvador, and for that reason it is a great pride for me to represent the Salvadoran people.”
What does Frank Rubio investigate in space?
The NASA astronaut works on the Biological Research Boat-26 (BRIC-26) activation, sponsored by NASA’s Division of Biological and Physical Sciences. The research measures the effect of microgravity exposure on three fundamental genetic processes and their interactions in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis.
The results could provide insight into the molecular mechanisms behind changes in genetic processes and characteristics of an organism caused by exposure to microgravity and extreme environments on Earth. This information could help researchers develop ways to protect the health and safety of astronauts on future missions, as well as people on the ground.
NT / ED
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