US astronaut gets used to Earth after record-setting 371 days in space

Frank Rubio has been in space for over a year, and now he needs to adjust to that annoying thing we call gravity.

During a press conference held on Friday at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, he stated, "The soles of your feet and lower back hurt a little bit the first few days."

"I think there is a certain level of pain that comes with the fact that your lower back now supports half your weight."

After spending 371 days in space, Rubio returned to Earth two weeks ago. He had flown off on a typical six-month mission aboard a Russian rocket in September of last year.

The Soyuz spacecraft that was meant to return them was berthed to the International Space Station to serve as a backup transport in case of emergency. However, in December, it suddenly leaked coolant, most likely as a result of a micrometeoroid.

Therefore, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, sent the spacecraft back to Earth as a precaution.

It also sent an empty one, so Rubio and company could return, but they would have to take up the task intended for the crew that was supposed to be aboard that second ship.

"The fact that I was going to spend a whole year cooped up was a kind of torture for me, because I love being outside," Rubio stated.

However, it is a component of the goal. Saying, "Hey, this is my world for the next 12 months and I have to deal with that," required a slight mental change.

However, because to the mishap, this Salvadoran immigrant's kid was able to surpass Mark Vande Hei's 2022 record of 355 continuous days to become the American with the longest space travel record.

At 437 days, Russian cosmonaut Valeri Poliakov holds the global record.

"For the first few days (back on Earth) you drift to the right or to the left as you try to walk straight," he continues.

"Your mind is perfectly clear, but your body just doesn't respond the way you expect it to."

Growing a tomato while on board the International Space Station was another potential first for Rubio.

"I think what was the first tomato in space," he said.

After placing it in "a little bag" and securing it with Velcro, he eventually misplaced it.

Rubio searched for it for hours without finding it. It may have been misinterpreted for trash after drying out.

However, he quips, "some people will say I probably ate it."