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NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Retires After His Yearlong Mission

Apr 06, 2016 07:07 AM EDT

After spending nearly a year in space, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly recently announced his retirement from the space agency.

Kelly, 52, spent a record of 342 days in orbit on the International Space Station (ISS). He began his retirement on the 1st of April this year.

Kelly's space mission involved studying the health effects of long-term spaceflight travel. Other than his main mission, Kelly also spent a lot of fun time in the space station, as he grew a space flowers (zinnias, to be exact) and even pulled on a gorilla suit and chased other astronauts.

Scott Joseph Kelly is a veteran of four other space flights. He commanded the ISS on three expeditions. He is also a recipient of several awards for his work, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

In his first post-flight news conference, Kelly said he will never be done with space, and that he will always be involved, though he wouldn't be flying for NASA.

Kelly spoke about reuniting with his family and getting to eat great food again after he came back to our planet. He said he looked forward to seeing the rain that he had missed during his space travel.

On his return, his body is now getting used to Earth after a long time floating in zero gravity. His body has undergone several changes.

Post-retirement, Kelly will continue with his research with NASA. Research on his body will now focus on the changes in vision, metabolism and motor skills that happen after one goes to space and lives in zero gravity.

This will aid in future research that will help prepare future astronauts for space travel. It can even serve as a guide for when we possibly inhabit other planets in the future.

In October 2015, Kelly was recognized as the first American astronaut to spend the maximum number of days in space.

His identical twin brother Mark Kelly is also a retired astronaut. The Kelly brothers are the only brothers to have travelled in space. Being twins, their identical characteristics can further boost the research on the impacts of spaceflight to the human body, as Mark stayed on Earth as Scott was in orbit.

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