NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth today along with his Russian counterpart Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko aftr 340 days aboard the International Space Station that had elicited enormous interest in space watch from above and the way night lights ignite new visions of our planet.
The astronauts returned by a Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft that landed in Kazakhstan at 11:26 pm EST (10:26 local time) along with another Russian space scientist Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos. Their capsule touched down southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan.
During the record-setting One-Year mission, the ISS station crew conducted 400 investigations, ahead of NASA’s Journey to Mars, including research into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and the stress of long-duration spaceflight.
Interestingly, Kelly’s identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, participated in parallel twin studies on Earth to compare the effects of space on the body and mind down to the cellular level. NASA and Roscosmos are looking at Fluid Shifts with an eye on future space station crews.
The ISS orbital path covered more than 90 percent of Earth’s population, to monitor and capture images of our planet. They also condcuted studies on dark matter, drive innovation, including a test of network capabilities for operating swarms of spacecraft.
Kelly and Kornienko witnessed six resupply spacecraft during their mission. Kelly handled two NASA-contracted cargo flights — SpaceX’s Dragon, the company’s sixth commercial resupply mission and Orbital ATK’s Cygnus during the company’s fourth commercial resupply mission. A Japanese cargo craft and three Russian resupply ships also delivered several tons of supplies to the station in the last one year.
Kelly ventured outside the ISS in three spacewalks. With this mission, Kelly now has spent 520 days in space, the most among U.S. astronauts, while Kornienko has accumulated 516 days across two flights, and Volkov has 548 days on three flights.
The International Space Station has been continuously occupied since November 2000 and, has been visited by more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s future missions to an asteroid and Mars.
More than anything else, his constant tweets from space have made the day for many earthlings, including those in India. Almost all major Indian cities in night lights have made it in Kelly’s Space Newsletter via his tweets.
During his #YearInSpace, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly has done a little bit of everything, from science experiments, spacewalks, watching movies and celebrating holidays, to talking with US President Barack Obama. Here are some of his best tweets posts from the last year:
A photo posted by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on