Record-breaking NASA astronaut Frank Rubio will return to Earth this Wednesday. Rubio recently set a new record for the longest single stay in space by a NASA astronaut, surpassing one year spent on the International Space Station (ISS).
Rubio and two other ISS crewmembers will return to Earth this week, and their journey will be live-streamed by NASA if you want to watch along at home.
What to expect from the return journey
Rubio will be returning to Earth along with two Roscosmos cosmonauts, Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, who have also been staying on the station for a total of 371 days in space. They will travel in a Russian Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which will undock from the station’s Prichal module before traveling back through the early morning and landing near to the town of Jezkazgan in Kazakhstan.
From their landing site, the trio will fly to Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and Rubio will then head on the Houston on a NASA plane.
The trio have been in space for so long in part due to an issue with their original spacecraft, the Soyuz MS-22. The spacecraft arrived at the space station carrying the three crewmembers as planned in September 2022 and was docked to the station, with the aim to return the trio in March this year. But in December 2022, the spacecraft was seen leaking coolant fluid and it was deemed too dangerous for humans to travel in.
Another Soyuz — the MS-23 — was sent as a replacement in February, and the MS-22 returned to Earth without any passengers. Now the three will return on the replacement spacecraft, which has not had any issues.
NASA TV will livestream the return journey of the Soyuz MS-23, beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday, September 27, with coverage of the crew’s farewells and hatch closing. Coverage of the undocking begins at 3 a.m. ET (midnight PT), with undocking scheduled for 3:55 a.m. ET (12:55 a.m. PT). Coverage of the deorbit burn and landing begins at 6 a.m. ET (3 a.m. PT), with the former scheduled for 6:24 a.m. ET (3:24 a.m. PT) and the latter for 7:17 a.m. ET (4:17 a.m. PT).
You can watch the live stream either by heading to NASA’s live YouTube stream or by using the video embedded near the top of this page.