NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will be the next American to travel out of this world when she launches one week from today on her first mission to the International Space Station.
On July 6th, Rubins and her two crew mates, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Russia and astronaut Takuya Onishi of Japan, will blast off from Kazakhstan inside a Soyuz rocket to join the rest of their Expedition 48 colleagues at the space station.
“Funny enough, my scientific and personal goals are almost identical. I am looking forward to every second, hour and day of observing how life operates in free-fall and watching our planet below,” Rubins told ABC News in an email from Kazakhstan.
Rubins was selected in 2009 for the 20th NASA astronaut class after helping develop the first smallpox infection model for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The self-described “former virus hunter” holds a doctorate in cancer biology from Stanford University.
Once at the space station, she will be conducting research in biological and human studies, including how human bone mass and cardiovascular systems are affected in microgravity.
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SOURCE: ABC News, Alison Thoet