NASA’s record-breaking astronaut: scientific highlights of Frank Rubio’s year in space

During his mission, Frank Rubio helped install the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) for an April 2023 launch of six different satellites, including projects designed by students in Canada. Private, governmental, and academic organizations use the space station to deploy small satellites called CubeSats into Earth’s orbit for a variety of research objectives.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio is set to return to Earth this fall after setting the record for the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut. He arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on September 21, 2022, and will return home after 371 days in space. While on the orbiting lab, Rubio and his fellow crew members conducted dozens of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations.

View of tomatoes growing in the eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System (XROOTS) facility. The tomatoes were grown without soil using hydroponic and aeroponic nourishing techniques to demonstrate space agricultural methods to sustain crews on long-term space flights farther away from Earth where resupply missions become impossible. Credit: NASA

Throughout his mission, Frank Rubio worked on the eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System (XROOTS). The investigation uses hydroponic (water-based) and aeroponic (air-based) techniques rather than soil or other traditional growth media to complete the life cycle of tomato plants. Results could help identify ways to produce crops on a larger scale for future space missions.

Read the entire article at SciTech Daily

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