According to CNN on March 1, 2016, NASA has announced that astronaut Scott Kelly will be returning to Earth. Kelly completed a mission on the International Space Station that required him to be in space for almost a year. The astronaut is currently en route and will land at approximately 11:27 p.m. EST. He will be landing in the Kazakhstan desert.
Kelly’s 340-day space journey began on March 27, 2015. His Year in Space mission will further assist NASA in future plans to take astronauts on quests that could both last long periods of time and could require them to be farther away from Earth. Specifically, this will help clarify questions regarding plans to send astronauts to Mars.
Upon Kelly’s arrival back to Earth, he will be flown back to Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, where NASA will further analyze the tests that Kelly conducted in space. Some of those tests include physical examinations and scientific evaluations. One theory that will be examined is if Kelly grew to be taller than his twin brother, Mark, as it was theorized that an individual is able to briefly grow in space.
UPDATE: March 2, 2016, at 1:41 p.m. EST. According to NBC News, Scott Kelly grew two inches during his Year in Space journey. Kelly was the same height as his identical twin brother prior to his 340-day mission that consisted of him traveling 144 million miles in space. He and his two Russian colleagues orbited the globe 5,440 times.
By Tricia Manalansan
Edited by Cathy Milne
CNN: Astronaut Scott Kelly is coming home
Image Courtesy of NASA Johnson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
NBC News: NASA’s Scott Kelly Grew 2 Inches: The Body After a Year in Space
Inline Image Courtesy of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s photostream’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License