Space Transportation
The ISS marathon runners are back
The ISS marathon runners are back
© B. Ingalls / NASA

The ISS marathon runners are back

The longest stay (initially planned) carried out aboard the International Space Station ended on September 27. And already, two other Russian cosmonauts are working to break the record by next year...

A visibly tired crew

Russians Sergueï Prokopiev and Dimitri Peteline, accompanied by American Frank Rubio, returned to Earth on September 27 aboard the Russian capsule Soyuz MS 23.

Contact with the ground took place in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 17:17 local time.

The three passengers, who were a sight to behold so much their reunion with Earth's gravity seemed to affect them, had just spent almost 371 days in space : this is the third longest orbital stay in history, and the longest achieved in the operation of the International Space Station.

The trio had embarked in September 2022 aboard Soyuz MS 22, which fell victim to a major coolant leak the following December 15, and was replaced by the Soyuz MS 23, launched unmanned on February 24.


American record

Frank Rubio thus takes first place in the ranking of NASA astronauts with the longest stays around the Earth.

But already, two Russians have set their sights on Sergei Prokopiev's record, Dimitri Peteline and Frank Rubio : Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Choub, who arrived on the station on September 15 with the Soyuz MS-24, won't return to the cow floor until September... 2024, after some 375 days of microgravity...

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