This past Wednesday, Frank Rubio made cosmo history for Latinx’s everywhere.
NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin launched aboard the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September, 21 at 9:54 A.M.―making Rubio the first Salvadoran-American to reach space.
In 1975, Rubio was born in Los Angeles, California to his Salvadoran parents. He was raised in El Salvador until the age of six, then spent the majority of his life in Miami, Florida. Prior to becoming an astronaut, he attended the United States Military Academy and earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations.
Today, astronaut Rubio has an extensive military career, is an active-duty Army board physician, and launched as a flight engineer and member of NASA Expedition 68.
Out of a pool of 18,300 applicants for the 2017 Astronaut Candidate class, NASA selected Rubio as one of the 10 final people for the mission. This historic moment comes right on time for Latinx Heritage Month, a moment taken to celebrate the history and accomplishments of Latinx’s across the nation. Serving as a reminder, as NASA puts it, “There’s space for everyone.”
His mission on the International Space Station is scheduled for six months. This will be the first space flight for astronauts Rubio and Petelin. This is Prokopyev’s second flight into the cosmos. The entire space crew’s mission includes experiments, maintenance, spacewalks, and environmental and observational duties. They’re set to return back home to Earth in March of 2023.