Meet Frank Rubio, the Latino NASA astronaut who will spend six months in space

The doctor Frank Rubio, son of Salvadorans, will travel this Wednesday to the International Space Station, as part of one of the last joint operations between the POT and Roscosmos (Russia). He will do it from Kazakhstan, together with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin: they will stay in space for six months.

It is the first spaceflight for Rubio.

“For me it is a great pride to be able to represent the Salvadoran people,” said Rubio in an interview with AP. “It is something that is very exciting for me and for our family.”

The story of Dr. Frank Rubio, NASA astronaut

Born Francisco Carlos Rubio in Los Angeles, California, on December 11, 1975, this son of Salvadoran immigrants He is a US Army helicopter pilot and surgeon. He is part of the group of NASA astronauts for the Artemis Program, so it is not ruled out that he will be taken into account to travel to the Moon.

Rubio’s family moved back to El Salvador, where the future astronaut was raised for the first six years of his life, and then to Miami, Florida.

The astronaut is a second lieutenant in the Army, was a platoon leader in the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade and added more than 1,100 flight hours in operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

His medical doctorate is from the Uniformed Services University in Maryland.

Since 2017, Rubio has been part of the group of NASA astronauts, completing a two-year training.

This will be the journey of Frank Rubio and his companions to the International Space Station

Rubio’s flight departs from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. this Wednesday from 9:54 am ET. Along with cosmonauts Prokopyev and Petelin, they will leave aboard the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft.

After a three-hour journey and two orbits, the Soyuz will dock with the International Space Station’s Rassvet module at 1:11 pm. Two hours after docking, According to NASA, the hatches between the Soyuz and the station will be opened, with the traditional reception of the crew members.

“For me to be there, of course it’s amazing to be in space. But, more than anything, one feels very proud to do things that are going to help the whole of humanity. It’s exciting,” Rubio said in the AP interview.

On the International Space Station, in addition to Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin, are Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev (commander of Expedition 67), Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins, and the ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

No worries about the tension between the United States and Russia

Tensions between the United States and Russia over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine They are huge, but in space matters, both countries maintain collaboration. However, Roscosmos has already announced that it will leave the International Space Station soon, to focus on its own laboratory in orbit.

Regarding his companions, Rubio stated: “They are incredibly good cosmonauts. We all have great confidence in our team and, together, the crew that we are going to have is going to be very strong. We can do any mission that touches us.”

Rubio is not the first Latino to travel to space with NASA. The American space agency has already sent others like Franklin Chang Díaz (Costa Rica), Rodolfo Neri Vela (Mexico) and Ellen Ochoa (Mexico), among many others.

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