Frank Rubio surpassed this week the year on the International Space Station, after a technical failure occurred in the ship that would take him to Earth. The son of Salvadorans is the NASA astronaut with the longest time on a single mission in orbit.
But he is not the person with the most time in space on a mission. That record is held by Soviet cosmonaut Valeri Poliakov (or Polyakov).
The Soviet doctor passed 14 months in space, 437 days in total. It is practically impossible for anyone to overcome it. And, the most curious thing is that his destiny was to spend 16 months!, but a failure in the ship that would take him to the Mir station delayed his departure.
How was the journey of Valeri Poliakov in space?
In both he remained at the Mir station: the first, for 240 days; the second, for 437 days, which was the one with the record.
As part of the Soyuz TM-18 trip, the doctor arrived at Mir on January 8, 1994, together with Víktor Afanasiev and Yuri Usachov. His companions would return to Earth sooner; He would do it on March 22, 1995.
“I feel fine,” were his first words. “Please let me take a few steps with someone to help me. I can do it”.
But the doctors who received him put him on a stretcher and wrapped him up: after 14 months in space, in microgravity, It was difficult to do anything on our planet.
Adding together his two missions, Poliakov spent 678 days in space. He always joked: “I already made the round trip to Mars.”
Valeri Poliakov passed away on September 21, 2022, at 80 years of age.
Another Russian holds the record for the most days accumulated in space: it is Gennari Padalka, which in 2015 reached 879 days, achieved on five different flights.
While the American with the most accumulated days is the astronaut Peggy Whitson which was a total of 675 days.
So, although Frank Rubio entered the history books as the NASA astronaut with the most days in space in a single mission, he was still far from the absolute record, held by Valeri Poliakov.