After a year in space, astronaut says he could do another
After a year in space, astronaut says he could do another In this image from video made available by NASA on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, astronaut Scott Kelly wears a gorilla costume in the International Space Station. The suit was a gift from his identical twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly. (NASA via AP/AP Photo/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center via NASA)
After a year in space, astronaut says he could do another
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America's space-endurance champ is Scott Kelly.  He is expected to return to Earth today. The astronaut has spent nearly a year in orbit. He's been aboard the International Space Station.  High on his to-do list when he gets back will be jumping into his pool and dining at a real table.
Yet he said he could hold out another year in the "harsh environment" of space - where nothing ever feels normal - if he had to.
"Yeah, I could go another 100 days. I could go another year if I had to," Kelly assured reporters. He spoke in a video news conference from orbit. "It would just depend on what I was doing and if it made sense. Although I do look forward to getting home here next week."
Going without running water for a year has made hygiene difficult, Kelly acknowledged. "It's kind of like I've been in the woods camping for a year."
But the hardest part of all, he said, is being separated from his loved ones. It is a situation that will pose even more of a challenge for astronauts sent to Mars.
Kelly took questions on Day 335 of what already is NASA's longest single spaceflight. By the time Kelly rides a Russian capsule to a landing in Kazakhstan, his mission will have lasted 340 days.
The world record for a single spaceflight is 438 days. It was set by a Russian cosmonaut. That was in the 1990s. Even that will pale in comparison to a Mars expedition. It is expected to last two to three years round trip.
Scientists hope to learn much from Kelly's mission. It will help to pave the way to Mars in about 20 years. The scientists will also collect data from his Russian roommate for the year. He is Mikhail Kornienko.
Kelly, 52, is a former space shuttle commander. He will undergo a battery of medical and physical tests at the landing site. He will then be hustled home to Houston. There, he will get more tests and weeks if not months of rehabilitation. He must recover from the punishing effects of an extended stay in zero gravity. Those effects include degraded vision and the loss of bone and muscle.
Awaiting his arrival in Houston will be his two daughters and his girlfriend, who works in public affairs at Johnson Space Center. His identical twin, former astronaut Mark Kelly will also be there.
The brothers have submitted to similar medical tests for more than a year and will keep it up in the months ahead. NASA hopes the research on the genetically identical brothers will illuminate some of the more extreme effects of weightlessness on the body.
The Kellys talked often during the mission, more than they did before the flight, in fact. The 250-mile-high outpost has an Internet phone capable of calling anyone. Mission Control also arranges regular video conferences between astronauts and their families.
"For him, living in space and being so far detached from life on Earth, one of the only real lifelines you have, one of the best ones, is certainly the ability to make a phone call," Mark Kelly said from his home in Tucson, Arizona. He said he and his brother hope to go fishing in Alaska.
Scott Kelly said he was more anxious to return home following his last space station stint five years ago, which lasted 159 days. That was because of the assassination attempt two months earlier on his congresswoman sister-in-law, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark's wife.
This time, Kelly said, he didn't focus on the end of his mission but rather on each upcoming milestone: the arrival of supplies and crews, major experiments, spacewalks, maintenance tasks. Even so, he said, events from last summer or fall seem like forever ago.
He lightened things up recently by donning a gorilla suit - a gag gift from Mark - and cavorting through the station while the cameras rolled.
"Next milestone's coming home," Kelly said with a smile.
He ended the news conference with a slow-motion backflip - undoubtedly one of the pluses of space.

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Why is the year in space project so important?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • alannah-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:31 p.m.

    The space project is so important because Kelly was in space for the longest time as an American austronaut with in 140 days. NASA wanted to send a man onto mars so that they could see how long they could live. Fun Fact: There are effects like weightlessness on the body, and degraded vision. Also because they wanted us to know more about mars and space.

  • andrewh-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:33 p.m.

    A reason why the year in space project is so important is because people want to send a human to Mars to see how long a man could live. Kelly had to stay in space for a whole year just for a project. His travle will pave the way to Mars in 20 years. They also want too collect data from a Russian roomate for the year. This project will includ recovering from loss ofvision and weakness in the muscles. Those are reasons why the year in space project is so important.

  • ellas-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:34 p.m.

    There was a reason for Kelly being stuck in space for a year. The reason kelly was there for a year was research. They had to research how a year up in space with zero-gravity would do to a human body. They are probably doing this to research for the round trip to Mars.

  • alexisa-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:34 p.m.

    It is so important because you need all the supplies. You need water and food. But he did not have running water to drink. It is also important because you don't have someone with you up in space. I liked this story because it talks about a guy who spent 340 days in space and how he will return to earth and have multiple exams. It also says in the story that his brother will be there to compare the effects that space can have on the him.

  • stevend-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:34 p.m.

    Why is the year in space project so important? The year in space project is so important because we can find out more about life in space. Scientist hope that they can find out more. This will help them get to Mars in 20 years. To also find out what will happen to humans when there up in space for so long.

  • madisenl-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:34 p.m.

    Why is the year in space project so important? The year in space will probably lead to possibly more discoveries than other space rendezvous. I mean, the whole Apollo XIII (13) to the Moon and Laika on Sputnik II (2) around the Earth they're important, too. The article stated Scott Kelly will be compared with his twin, Mark Kelly after returning back to Earth's gravitational pull.I hope the scientists make brand new discoveries or try to fix the misconceptions.
    If Scott really did another year in space and it was a success, would it be possible that the next generation will want to go to Mars instead of Disney World? What will happen to DVR and DVDs? I mean video already killed the radio star! Got carried away. Still, if this experiment goes right and space travel is possible, will current Earth citizens' grandchildren live a daily life in space?

  • albrimz-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:34 p.m.

    The space project is important, and I will tell you why. They did this to see if there are differences between Mark and Scott Kelly, while Scott was in space and there was. One of differences was that Scott Kelly's vision was degraded (worse). Another one was that Scott was losing his bones and his mucles were weaker. He was also lost alot of weight while he was in space. Mark Kelly was stronger, healthier and could see better that Scott. I also think that Mark will pick on Scott, because he is stronger. That is why the project was so important

  • davidc-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:34 p.m.

    The year in space project is so important because it tells how people change in space by monitoring how they changed from their twin while he is on earth. Also it might help with the mars expedition for it might just prepare them for the long journey ahead. Another reason why it would be important is that then they would know what to bring with them on more expeditions and what to expect to happen to the people in space, like loss of some eyesight. Finally, its because they can see how he grows and changes over time, to watch how he appears to the eyes of earth and how his bones degrade (also how he changes through smell, probably). That is why the year in space project is such a big important improvement to earth.

  • lillianh-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:35 p.m.

    The reason the year in space is so important is because it will help NASA get closer to sending someone to Mars and back with the imformation Kelly will bring back. It also will let NASA know how Kelly changed from his idential twin like how well his vision is, how much weight and bones he has lost and how much he stayed the same. That is what I gathered from the article.

  • loganc-obr
    3/02/2016 - 01:36 p.m.

    The year in space is so important because scientists need to know what it will be like when they send humans to Mars. Also because they need to know what the effects are of being in space for a long time (the effects are degraded vision, loss of bone and loss of muscle). Also they figured out the hygiene problems in space (by sending Scott Kelly to the space station for a year). I wonder where I can find the video of Scott Kelly in a gorilla suit?

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