New Delhi :
After spending 340 days in orbit, astronaut Scott Kelly is set to return home today on March 1. Discharging his duties off space, Kelly will plummet through Earth’s atmosphere in a Soyuz spacecraft. Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, his Russian counterpart have together spent nearly a year in International Space Station.
He has probably been the most active astronaut from space but that’s not enough for his introduction. His year-long stay makes him the first American to endure such a feat. NASA’s One-Year Mission focused on seven categories of research, including medical, psychological and biomedical challenges during long-duration spaceflight.
The spacebound Kelly wasn’t only spending time eating veggies and taking selfies in space but also collecting blood, urine, saliva, and poop—for science! And at the same time, NASA has been taking samples from his identical twin to compare the situations and get a better handle on what happens to the human bodies in space.
Unlike earth, the human body takes time to adapt when in space and some of the effects of microgravity become obvious with time. Bone become weaker as they no longer have to bear the weight of walking, muscles atrophy. The ISS astronauts, to counteract that spend an average of two hours a day exercising, strapped onto a treadmill with elastic bands or doing weight resistance training.
The Charlie Brown effect also affect you in space, where fluids in the face make astronauts more round-cheeked than they typically are on Earth. Considering all these changes, here are some of the major milestones of Scott Kelly’s year in space: