Rubio was launched into space for the first time on Sep. 21, 2022. He arrived at the outpost with two Russians for a routine six months. But their stay was doubled after their Soyuz capsule developed a coolant leak while parked at the space station.
The trio will return to Earth on Sept. 27 in a replacement capsule that was sent up empty for the ride home. By then, Rubio will have spent 371 days in space, more than two weeks longer than Mark Vande Hei, the previous U.S. record holder for a single spaceflight, Russia holds the world record of 437 days, set in the mid-1990s.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Rubio spoke on video from the International Space Station about what he was most looking forward to when he returns home: his family, fresh food and silence.
“For me, honestly, obviously, hugging my wife and kids is going to be paramount, and I’ll probably focus on that for the first couple days,” Rubio said.
Rubio set the record for the longest single spaceflight by an American on Sept. 11.