Washington Post: ‘Touchdown!’ Scott Kelly returns to Earth with a fist-pump and a cult following. Perhaps epitomizing the experimental nature of his one-year spaceflight and an unintentional nod to our primal ancestry, he ate a banana.
Although earlier on Friday, a Nasa scientist said Kelly embodied the qualities needed for a mission to Mars, the astronaut himself predicted that he would not fly again with the space agency. Busy with medical exams and interviews, Kelly said he’s going through a bit of news withdrawal right now. “It seemed longer than I thought it would be”.
Kelly says one part of the study will look into the impact of space on aging.
“This was something we could share together and it made the experience more rewarding, rather than just our conversations on a daily basis”, he said.
He also took a moment to correct a rumor that cropped up since his return home.
“It’s been a long trip”, Kelly said.
“The data analysis is only now beginning in earnest”, John Charles, associate manager for NASA’s Human Research Program, said at a news conference today. Since astronauts in space don’t really use the back and leg muscles to resist gravity and stand, these muscles actually lose mass and start to shrink. Seats and spacesuits are designed with this impermanent growth in mind.
Backing away from the vessel, he said, the scope of the mission began to sink in: 340 days on a 15-year-old space station which is “a million pounds, the size of a football field, the internal volume, some say, of a six-bedroom house”. The others covered everything from how stem cells and worms respond to space to technology demonstrations to the burning of various fuels and liquids. The veteran of past missions said that his biggest surprise was simply how long this one felt.
“So by looking at Mark’s results collected over the course of the year, we can see what the normal variations might be and then by looking at Scott’s, we can see where his variations are greater than Mark’s”. The Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft landed near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday with Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos. They will inform preparation efforts for future human missions to Mars, each of which would last 2 to 2.5 years. “At the end of the ISS era, we can give our findings to the Mars mission program with how to keep our astronauts happy, healthy and performing at a high level for the duration”.
One study not related to the fact that Scott Kelly is a twin evaluated fluid shifts in the body that happen during weightlessness. “I laid cable, fixed the toilet, drew my own blood, we all get pretty good at that”, Lindgren said. “I think it’s because he plays too much golf”.
Before humans take the leap traveling to Mars, Robinson noted that the research team would like to study the effects of long-term spaceflight on 10 to 12 more ISS crewmembers. “The galaxy is never-ending, and it’s interesting that there might be other civilizations out there that we haven’t discovered”, said sophomore Jade Sebti.
Kelly and his twin brother, Mark, a retired astronaut, have spent the previous year taking physical and mental tests. Kelly also predicted there will be more opportunities for commercial space travel for non-astronauts as well.
“The earth is a handsome planet”, Kelly said during a press conference on Friday in Houston, as he described the striking colours of the waters around the Bahamas and the attractive lakes that dot the northern Himalayas.