300th Day in Space: Frank Rubio on Track for a New U.S. Spaceflight Record

NASA Astronaut Frank Rubio ISS Cupola

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Frank Rubio peers through one of the seven windows in the cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world.” Credit: NASA

After a well-deserved day off on Monday, the Expedition 69 crew aboard the International Space Station was back to work Tuesday performing a variety of maintenance activities, science experiments, and vision exams.

NASA astronaut and Flight Engineer Frank Rubio spent his 300th day in space on Tuesday. He is on track to set the record for the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut later this year. Rubio’s day consisted of installing the Surface Avatar laptop, which investigates how haptic controls, user interfaces, and virtual reality could command and control surface-bound robots from long distances. Additionally, he analyzed water from the station’s Water Processing Assembly located in the Tranquility module and performed EVA battery maintenance.

Astronaut Frank Rubio Works Inside the Quest Airlock

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Frank Rubio is pictured working inside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock. Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg started his morning performing monthly maintenance on the station’s treadmill. Following maintenance, he set up for vision exams that four astronauts, including himself, completed later in the day. Hoburg, NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev all took turns using imaging hardware to complete eye exams that help researchers better understand how living in space affects vision.

Hoburg also completed an assortment of other tasks, including surveying and measuring airflows in the station’s U.S. Orbital Segment. With the assistance of Alneyadi, the two also installed ethernet cables and a communications data converter. Ahead of station upgrades and eye exams, Alneyadi spent his morning in the Window Observational Research Facility observing and taking photos of Earth.

Along with vision exams, Bowen also participated in an ARED Kinematics session—a test that assesses current exercise programs to allow for the improvement of future regimens.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos conducted cable maintenance and worked on inventory and cargo plans for the upcoming ISS Progress 85 mission. Cosmonaut Dmitri Petelin prepped for a Pilot-T experiment, in which Fedyeav later donned the sensor-packed cap to practice piloting techniques that explore how spacefarers may react and control spacecraft on future planetary missions.

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