New Delhi :
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly announced his retirement, less than two weeks since he returned to planet earth. Kelly, 52 has spent 340 days in orbit on the International Space Station as part of the study how human body reacts in space for longer periods.
Kelly became a part of this study called the parallel twin studies, His twin brother Mark Kelly on earth, his body changes and Scott’s changes will help scientists to learn more ways to study human space flight.
The 52-year-old American astronaut also holds record of spending the most number of days in space: 520 days over four missions.
According to NASA, Kelly’s retirement takes effect from April 1. During his space stint, Kelly shared hundreds of images from space, mostly of earth from orbit on social media.
“My career with the Navy and NASA gave me an incredible chance to showcase public service to which I am dedicated, and what we can accomplish on the big challenges of our day," Kelly said in a statement. “I am humbled and excited by new opportunities for me to support and share the amazing work NASA is doing to help us travel farther into the solar system and work with the next generation of science and technology leaders.”
Kelly posted his retirement on Facebook this Friday and said his relationship with science and the great beyond was not ending.
“This year-in-space mission was a profound challenge for all involved, and it gave me a unique perspective and a lot of time to reflect on what my next step should be on our continued journey to help further our capabilities in space and on Earth,” Kelly said in a statement.
No specific plans for what’s next were announced. But Kelly will continue to undergo periodic medical tests as part of his mission, NASA said.
Nasa administrator Charles Bolden, a retired astronaut himself, said the space agency and science in general is grateful to Kelly, who he added deserves “meals that don’t come in a bag, a cold beer, hot showers, cool autumn breezes, the sounds of birds chirping, the ability to lay his head on an actual pillow and so much more of the pleasures of life.”
Kelly returned from space station after spending a year on March 2, landing in Kazakhstan with Russia’s Mikhail Kornienko. Before leaving orbit, Kelly tweeted: “The journey isn’t over. Follow me as I rediscover #Earth!”
Kelly has probably been the most active astronauts from space so far. His Twitter followers have been crazily reading about his Firsts on earth, like first rain, first dental checkup and first dip in the pool.