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
Lexile

America's space-endurance champ is Scott Kelly. He is scheduled to return to Earth today. The astronaut has spent nearly a year in orbit 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 checks out and 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 two decades. The scientists will also collect data from his Russian roommate for the year, 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, his girlfriend, who works in public affairs at Johnson Space Center and his identical twin, former astronaut Mark Kelly.
 
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.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 119 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is the year in space project so important?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (30)
  • Eric0221-YYCA
    3/01/2016 - 11:17 p.m.

    The astronaut might have wanted to stay on the International Space Station after a year in space which he wanted to stay on the International Space Station which he wanted to stay in space for another 100 days. The astronaut wanted to stay in space while his astronaut friends are now gone, he would have to feel what would be like on his first 100 days without anybody in space. The astronaut might have wanted to stay inside the International Space Station without anybody aboard which he wanted to see for himself that he could survive in space without anybody. People might have not wanted to stay on the International Space Station all alone without anybody aboard the Space Station for 100 days which would be like surviving until the end of the day is near.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why is the year in space project so important?
    Answer: Because a year in space project might have wanted to test out if they could survive on their own without anybody else.

  • mayaw-6-bar
    3/02/2016 - 02:00 a.m.

    The year in space project is so important because scientists can conduct experiments that could have different effects in space, than on the earth. In paragraph 11, it states that,"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." This quote is telling us about an experiment, that is asking the question, how does being weightless affect your health? What the Scott twins are doing, is an experiment because they are testing to see what effect being weightless has on you for a year, versus living life normally on Earth.Therefore, the year in space project is so important because scientists can conduct experiments that could have different results in space, versus on Earth. I found this article interesting because I have always wondered how it would feel like to live off of Earth. I would like to know more about the experiments they conduct in space. I can relate to Scott Kelly because I am also an identical twin.

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

    A year in space is important, because NASA wanted to see if someone could survive a year into space. Also so they could send someone to mars. He had health problems. Scott had a interview with people through a camera in space. Scott also had a phone, so he could talk to people on earth. To summarize all of it Scott had to be a tester to see if he could stay out in space for a year.

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

    There are many reasons why The Year in Space, project is so important. I will tell you all them. One is that the astronaut, Scott Kelly went up into zero-gravity so later he could be compared with his twin brother, Mark Kelly who is a former astronaut. They will see if one has more or less of something than the other that they once had the same of, like if there are muscle loss or bone loss. Scott is also helping N.A.S.A figure out how to send scientists and colonists to Mars for up to two to three years. After that, they will be sent back home to Earth.

  • victoriak-ver
    3/02/2016 - 02:52 p.m.

    It must be so cool that Mark Kelly had the opportunity to be up in space for almost a year! Hopefully he will have a safe trip home and a healthy recovery!

  • dianner-2-bar
    3/02/2016 - 07:19 p.m.

    The year in space project is so important because in order for someone to go to mars there are flaws in people and they want to find out what they can do to fix that. I found this article very interesting because above it said " Day 335 of what already is NASA's longest single spaceflight." and that is a very long time but what surprised me the most was when they said "The world record for a single spaceflight is 438 days. It was set by a Russian cosmonaut. That was in the 1990s. " and that was back in the old days so the fact that now that our technology has advanced the could still not beat the world record that was set in 1990.

  • reidi-4-bar
    3/03/2016 - 05:53 p.m.

    Scott kelly arrived on earth on march 1 2016, he has spent nearly a year in space in orbit aboard the international space station. He says that if he had to he could go another hundred days or even a year if he was doing something productive ad it made sense. he said that he focused on his milestones more then the end.

  • billiem-1-bar
    3/03/2016 - 09:01 p.m.

    A year in a space project is so important because it allows scientists to collect data on the harsh conditions of space. What the difference are between living in space and on earth. The zero gravity effect takes a toll on the human body, and these tests will help to understand what happens. This will make the situation better for people who go to Mars, because the trip is much longer. I find this article interesting because of how they are trying to figure out what happens by studying his identical twin.

  • noahf-3-bar
    3/04/2016 - 01:43 a.m.

    The year in space project is so important because it allows NASA to research the side effects of staying in space for so long and how it has affected him.

    I found this article interesting because he had stayed up in space for an entire year, without complaints, and still wants to go up again.

  • carsonk-2-bar
    3/04/2016 - 09:54 a.m.

    The year in space project is important because NASA wants to figure out if someone can survive a year in space. They are trying to send humans to Mars. "It will help to pave the way to Mars in two decades." This article is interesting because it is showing how much more advanced we are becoming. This surprised me because of astronauts going to the moon in the upcoming decades.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT