ASTRONAUT

LIFTOFF!

On July 7, three crew members launched from Earth; headed to their new home on the International Space Station

Crewmembers Kate Rubins of NASA, Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will spend approximately four months on the orbital complex, returning to Earth in October. 

Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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Five Things to Know About NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins

Among the newest crew on the International Space Station is U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins, who will assume the role of Flight Engineer for Expeditions 48 and 49. Here are five things you should know about her:

1. She was chosen from a pool of over 3,500 applicants to receive a spot on our 2009 astronaut training class.

After being selected, Rubins spent years training at Johnson Space Center to become an astronaut. She learned how to use the complex station systems, perform spacewalks, exercise in space and more. Some training even utilized virtual reality.

2. She has a degree in cancer biology.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 1999, Rubins went on to receive a doctorate in Cancer Biology from Stanford University Medical School Biochemistry Department and Microbiology and Immunology Department in 2005. In other words, she’s extremely smart.

3. Her research has benefited humanity.

Rubins helped to create therapies for Ebola and Lassa viruses by conducting research collaboratively with the U.S. Army. She also aided development of the first smallpox infection model with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NBD. It will be exciting to see the research come out of a mission with a world-class scientist using a world-class, out-of-this-world laboratory!

4. She is scheduled to be the first person to sequence DNA in space.

During her time at the space station, Rubins will participate in several science experiments. Along with physical science, Earth and space science and technology development work, she will conduct biological and human research investigations. Research into sequencing the first genome in microgravity and how the human body’s bone mass and cardiovascular systems are changed by living in space are just two examples of the many experiments in which Rubins may take part.

5. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving and triathlons…among other things.

Rubins was on the Stanford Triathlon team, and also races sprint and Olympic distance. She is involved with health care/medical supply delivery to Africa and started a non-profit organization to bring supplies to Congo. Her recent pursuits involve flying airplanes and jumping out of them – not simultaneously. 

Rubins is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station at 12:12 a.m. Saturday, July 9. After her launch on Wednesday, July 6, the three crew members traveled 2 days before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module. 

Watch live coverage of docking and their welcoming starting at 11:30 p.m. EDT Friday, July 8 on NASA Television.

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