Napa native heading to International Space Station on 1st space mission

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Napa's own homegrown astronaut is prepping for her first mission in space. She's headed for the International Space Station.

NASA microbiologist Kate Rubins is in Moscow right now. She will board a Soyuz spacecraft and head to the ISS on June 24.

Rubins was raised in Napa, graduating from Vintage High School in 1996.

She holds a PhD in cancer biology from Stanford and was once an HIV researcher. Rubins was picked by NASA in 2009 and this is her first space mission.

"I've heard a lot differences between shuttles and Soyuz and a lot of people say when the third stage engine cuts off and you're in microgravity for the first time you actually have this amazing feeling of maybe even being stuck to the ceiling because your brain doesn't know quite what to do in your very first seconds of microgravity," Rubins said.

Rubins' research includes sequencing the first genome in microgravity and how our body's bone mass and cardiovascular systems change while living in space.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.