This will be the first trip into space for Rubio, who will serve as an aeronautical engineer on this mission. A trained family doctor, who also has experience as a flight surgeon – which means he has the pieces to take care of any medical issues that may arise during their flight.
Rubio, a native of Florida, joined NASA in 2017. Before being accepted into the Astronaut Corps, he graduated from the United States Military Academy and received his MD from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has more than 600 hours of combat experience in countries such as Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Rubio is considered his birthplace of Miami, 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 be teaming up with astronauts from the United States, Russia and Europe. The space station, which has constantly had people on board since 2000, maintains a rotating crew base to ensure the orbiting laboratory is constantly staffed with enough astronauts to maintain the space station’s hardware as well as maintain a long history of space. working experiences.
The fact that Rubio travels to space aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule is noteworthy.
The history of transporting humans to and from the International Space Station began with Russia and the United States each having their own rockets to transport their citizens to and from the International Space Station, which became a symbol of post-Cold War cooperation in the late 20th century and early 2000s. But after 2011, when NASA retired from the space shuttle program, Russian Soyuz capsules were the only option for American astronauts. NASA is paying up to $90 million for seats on the Soyuz spacecraft.
But after years of sharing flights on Russian Soyuz vehicles before SpaceX came onto the scene, one of the big questions that emerged was whether the United States and Russia would continue to put astronauts side by side on International Space Station missions.
Rubio, like many American astronauts before him, traveled to Russia to train with Russian cosmonauts prior to this mission.
CNN’s Kristen Fisher contributed to this story.