It was fun: The record-breaking astronaut told what he missed after being on the ISS

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, who recently set a record in orbit, told what he would miss most in life after being on board the International Space Station (ISS). 

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio in a spacesuit before a spacewalk. Photo: NASA

At the end of last month, Rubio returned to Earth after 371 days in space, the longest period of time spent in orbit by a NASA astronaut. Now that he is firmly on the ground and undergoing a period of recovery after more than a year spent in microgravity, the American astronaut took a break to answer questions about his historic mission.

During an hour-long session of questions and answers, one of the visitors asked what he would miss most after being in space. Remembering his crewmates, Rubio said he would also miss being able to swim around the orbiter in microgravity. 

“Swimming is so much fun, you feel like a little kid,” Rubio commented.

But most of all, according to the NASA astronaut, he lacks the amazing view of the Earth, which opens from a special vantage point at an altitude of 400 km above our planet.

“It’s such an impressive and unique view when you look down at the Earth. And also the fact that you can just hover over it. Even if you have a hard day or you are busy with something, you just look out the window for 10 or 20 seconds, and it really improves your mood. So I think this is something I’m going to miss a lot,” Rubio said.

For the best views, astronauts often head to the Cupola module of the space station. This is a 7-window panoramic module that offers unobstructed views of the Earth and other objects.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio reacts while checking his spacesuit shortly before launching to the International Space Station (ISS). Photo: REUTERS

It is known that crew members who are interested in photography even plan their visits to Cupola so that they coincide with flights over impressive natural objects far below. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, for example, took some incredible pictures during his two missions aboard the ISS.

Rubio’s space mission was supposed to last only six months, but the accident on the Soyuz spacecraft that took him to the ISS led to his return flight being postponed for another six months. Although he missed his family, these extra months in orbit allowed him to enjoy many more views of Earth than he initially expected, as well as enjoy microgravity conditions for longer.

Earlier we reported on how the ISS crew was having fun playing during orbital maneuvers.

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