Astronaut Scott Kelly Returning From Year In Space

Scott Kelly is finally returning home.

The 52-year-old NASA astronaut is due back on Earth tonight after spending 340 straight days — and more than 140 million miles — in space, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.

That means they’ll once again get to experience fresh, running water (no more drinking recycled urine and sweat), a mere one sunrise and sunset per day (instead of 16 of each), and, oh yes, that all-but-forgotten force called gravity.

See below for NASA Television’s full coverage of Kelly’s return to Earth, which begins at 4:15 p.m. EST with a farewell and hatch closure. De-orbit and landing coverage is scheduled to begin at 10:15 p.m.

The year-long mission aboard the International Space Station will help NASA better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to long-duration spaceflight, as the agency develops capabilities for manned missions to Mars by the 2030s.

“I’d like for the legacy of this flight to be that we can decide to do hard things, and hard things that will take us farther away from the Earth,” Kelly said during his last news conference from orbit last Thursday. “I’d like to think that this is another of many stepping stones to us landing on Mars sometime in our future.”

Kelly added that when he thinks about the ISS — a 1 million-pound, football field-sized laboratory that flies around the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour — he feels there’s nothing man can’t accomplish.

“If we can dream it, you know, we can do it — if we really want to,” he said.

During their year in space, Kelly and Kornienko orbited Earth —> Read More

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