Astronaut Scott Kelly To Retire From NASA

After spending a year in space aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly will retire from NASA effective April 1, the space agency announced Friday.

“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 said in a statement.

Upon retiring, NASA announced that Kelly will continue to participate in research related to his one-year mission, providing medical samples and support for other scientific testing.

After a #YearInSpace, @StationCDRKelly to retire from NASA, will still support our research:

— NASA (@NASA) March 11, 2016

NASA expects the yearlong mission to help scientists 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.

Some research will involve comparing Scott Kelly to his brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, testing blood samples and performance on psychological and physical tests.

Kelly spent an astonishing 340 consecutive days away from the planet with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, his fellow yearlong crew member. During their year in space, Kelly and Kornienko orbited Earth 5,440 times, traveling a total 143,846,525 miles, according to NASA. The pair returned to Earth just last week.

Among U.S. astronauts, Kelly holds the records for both consecutive days in space and cumulative time in space, spending a total of 520 days overall in orbit.

Russian Valeri Polyakov holds the all-time record for consecutive time in space, spending 438 days aboard the Russian Mir space —> Read More