This is the first space trip for Rubio, who will serve as a flight engineer on this mission. A qualified family doctor, he also has experience as a flight surgeon, meaning he has the chops to take care of any medical issues that may arise during their trip.
Rubio, a Florida native, joined NASA in 2017. Prior to being accepted into the astronaut corps, he graduated from the United States Military Academy and earned an MD from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. . He has over 600 hours of combat experience in countries like Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Rubio considers Miami his hometown, according to NASA, although he was born in California and his mother lives in El Salvador.
When Rubio and his Russian counterparts arrive at the space station, they will team up with astronauts from the United States, Russia and Europe. The space station, which has continuously had people on board since the year 2000, maintains a rotating base of crew members to ensure that the orbiting laboratory is constantly staffed with enough astronauts to maintain the space station equipment as well as keeping a long space diary. exploitation-based experiences.
The fact that Rubio travels to space on a Russian Soyuz capsule is remarkable.
The history of getting humans to and from the International Space Station began with Russia and the United States, each having their own rockets to get their citizens to and from the ISS, which has become a symbol of the post-Cold War cooperation in the late 20th century and early 2000s. But after 2011, when NASA retired its space shuttle program, Russian Soyuz capsules were the only option for American astronauts. NASA has paid up to $90 million for seats aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.
But after years of sharing rides on Russian Soyuz vehicles before SpaceX came on the scene, one of the big questions that arose was whether the US and Russia would continue to put their astronauts side by side. alongside in ISS missions.
Rubio, like many American astronauts before him, traveled to Russia to train with Russian cosmonauts before this mission.
CNN Christina Fisher contributed to this story.
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