FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and two Roscosmos cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, according to NASA. The journey had added significance because Lt. Col. (Dr.) Rubio is the Salvadoran-American to visit outer space.

Rubio launched on Wednesday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. He will participate in numerous scientific and technical experiments, space station maintenance, extravehicular activities/spacewalks, environmental and earth observation tasks, and public engagement events.

NASA selected Rubio as one of 10 people from a pool of 18,300 applicants for the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. Prior to his selection to NASA, he served as the battalion surgeon, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Carson, Colorado according to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

“Lt. Col. Rubio represents a ‘human element’ to Army space capabilities, like so many of our SMDC Soldiers stationed around the world,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. “He is a great representative of the Army’s role in space. To have that human presence in Earth orbit is only a small part of Army space capabilities.”

The trio will work on the International Space Station for the next six months before returning to Earth. You can learn more about the activities aboard the space station here.