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

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

    There are so many reasons why this the year in space important. One of the reasons why is so that they could test how long can you stay out in space. Another reason why is because of the effects that you can get from being in space to long like vision and loss of bones and muscles. He took questions on day 335 of what already is NASA's longest single spaceflight. It is also important so that they can see how long will it take to orbit around the world. He has a brother named Mark Kelly, he wants to go up with his brother Scott Kelly. It is also important to see how much he weighed and how much he lost.

  • camillef-wal
    3/02/2016 - 01:59 p.m.

    I think it would be a lot of fun to go out into space. But I wouldn't go for too long, like a year.

  • brendynb-obr
    3/02/2016 - 02:48 p.m.

    This article is about a twin who was in space for 340 days. When he got back he's been doing a lot of health exams, to see what went wrong or to see if anything improved. He said, "I would stay in space longer. I would stay in it for another year if I have to." but you could lose bones density and degraded vision.

  • ellas-obr
    3/02/2016 - 02:50 p.m.

    When earth goes to colinise Mars, they will be on a two to three years' trip. To do this, the space companies will have to research how human bodies are effected by zero-gravity while they were in there for a year. When a human body is up there for that long, the body's bones and muscles weaken. Kelly was like the test monkey for how humans in space would turn out. The vision of the human body will also weaken, with the bones and the muscles. I wonder if they will end up not sending people to Mars because of these results.

  • catherines-obr
    3/02/2016 - 02:52 p.m.

    I think that its important because he set the American record of 340 days in outer space, and he has a twin that once was an astronaut too, and he went so long with out running water, and he had no gravity for 340 days and is now coming coming back to earth.

  • romeld-obr
    3/02/2016 - 02:58 p.m.

    It is important to know if people can live on Mars for one year. They are going to send them.He is going to be studied by scientists to show if there was any different signs of physical problems such as degraded vision and loss of bones and muscle.

  • francescan-obr
    3/02/2016 - 03:01 p.m.

    A reason why a year in space project is so important is because NASA is experimenting with Scott Kelly and his identical brother Mark Kelly. NASA is doing this by sending Scott Kelly to space for a year and leaving his twin on Earth. NASA are experimenting with Scott Kelly and Mark Kelly because NASA is trying to send people to Mars. But, Scott Kelly needs to recover from punishing effects of an extended day in zero gravity. These effects are downgraded vision and the loss of bone and mussel. I wonder how NASA is going to send people to Mars whith these effects?

  • carloc-obr
    3/02/2016 - 03:01 p.m.

    The guy's name that went to space for one year, was Scott Kelly. When he came back to earth he wasn't normal compared to before he left. When you're in zero gravity you can degrade your bones and also have week vision by the zero gravity. They tested on the twins because they compared and contrasted from the twin in space and the twin from earth. It was harsh for Scott because there wasn't any running water and he thinks the hadest part was leaving is family members for a year.They sented Kelly to space so they know what will happen if they send other people to outer space for a year.

  • ailaniw-mcg
    3/02/2016 - 04:31 p.m.

    This Article was so fun to read you should totally read it if you like space stuff!!I loved it!

  • calebw-kut
    3/02/2016 - 05:30 p.m.

    This guy is probably going to go through some injuries when he gets home. The lack of eye sight and bone muscle is really tough. I could never go through space without running water either. Maybe the next addition to space ships should be running water

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