Army Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio, an astronaut, orbited Earth for 371 days, setting a U.S. record for the most days in space on a single spaceflight. 

Rubio “is a stellar example of the Army’s core values and what it means to lead a life of service,” said Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, who presented him with the Army Astronaut Device during a pinning ceremony at the Pentagon today.  

Those core values, she said, include leadership, team building and resilience. All values that have served him well on Earth and in space. 

There are only two other active-duty soldiers who have this device today, she noted. 

“Col. Rubio has a powerful U.S. Army story to tell, how his experiences in the Army developed him into the leader he is today and how he has managed to maintain strong relationships with his family that weathered deployments everywhere on Earth, as well as in space,” she said. 

Among the places he deployed to were Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. During those deployments, he logged over 600 combat flight hours piloting his Black Hawk helicopter, she said. 

Besides being an astronaut, Rubio is also a medical doctor and has worked in a number of Army medical treatment facilities, Wormuth said. 

Rubio said what he did was a team accomplishment — the teams being the Army and NASA, as well as his wife and four children. 

Of his family, Rubio said, “Without them and the support that I get from them, none of this would have been possible.” He also thanked the NASA team who provided him with outstanding training. 

Young soldiers today have great opportunities to make incredible achievements, he said. 

Rubio’s 371 days started Sept. 21, 2022, when he left Earth on the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. 

On Sept. 27, he landed back on Earth, having traveled 157,412,306 statute miles. During his time in space, he saw the arrival of 15 visiting space vehicles to the space station, and he conducted three spacewalks that totaled 21 hours, 24 minutes.

Leave a comment

Powering peace, equipping nations