Things to Know About Scott Kelly’s #YearInSpace
Ground Control to Scott Kelly
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During Kelly’s year-long mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, his participation in science wasn’t limited to the one-year mission investigations.

I have always love space! Astronauts are amazing, we will need all this info to keep out space program going. Scott also worked on some of the almost 400 science studies that were ongoing during his year in space, helping NASA reach for new heights, reveal the unknown and benefit all of humanity. During Kelly’s year-long mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, his participation in science wasn’t limited to the one-year mission investigations. In all, he worked on close to 400 science studies that help NASA reach for new heights, reveal the unknown, and benefit all of humanity. His time aboard the station included blood draws, urine collection, saliva samples, computer tests, journaling, caring for two crops in the Veggie plant growth facility, ocular scans, ultrasounds, using the space cup, performing runs with the SPHERES robotic satellites, measuring sound, assisting in configuring cubesats to be deployed, measuring radiation, participating in fluid shifts testing in the Russian CHIBIS pants, logging his sleep and much, much more. All of this was in addition to regular duties of station maintenance, including three spacewalks!

After months of eating food from pouches and cans and drinking through straws, Kelly and Kornienko will be able to celebrate their return to Earth with food of their choice. While aboard the space station, their food intake is closely monitored and designed to provide exactly the nutrients they need. Crew members do have a say in their on-orbit menus but often miss their favorite meals from back home. Once they return, they won’t face the same menu limitations as they did in space. As soon as they land on Earth and exit the space capsule, they are usually given a piece of fruit or a cucumber to eat as they begin their initial health checks. After Kelly makes the long flight home to Houston, he will no doubt greatly savor those first meals.

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it.” The same thing can be said for astronauts’ muscles and bones. Muscles and bones can atrophy in microgravity. While in space, astronauts have a hearty exercise regimen to fight these effects, and they continue strength training and reconditioning once they return to Earth. They will also participate in Field Tests immediately after landing. Functional Task Tests once they are back at NASA’s Johnson Space Center will assess how the human body responds to living in microgravity for such a long time. Understanding how astronauts recover after long-duration spaceflight is a critical piece in planning for missions to deep space.

One of the unique aspects of Kelly’s participation in the one-year mission is that he has an identical twin brother, Mark, who is a former astronaut. The pair have taken part in a suite of studies that use Mark as a human control on the ground during Scott’s year-long stay in space. The Twins Study is comprised of 10 different investigations coordinating together and sharing all data and analysis as one large, integrated research team. The investigations focus on human physiology, behavioral health, microbiology/microbiome and molecular/omics. The Twins Study is multi-faceted national cooperation between investigations at universities, corporations, and government laboratories.

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