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NASA Astronaut Brothers Mark, Scott Kelly Undergo 'Twin Study' For 2030 Mars Journey

Apr 14, 2016 05:43 AM EDT
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BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 26: Expedition 43 NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, left, and his identical twin brother Mark Kelly, pose for a photograph Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
(Photo : Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

Celebrated NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who recently returned from his one-year residence in space, is set to contribute to another NASA space program. Together with his twin brother, ex-NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, Scott is undergoing NASA's "Twin Study" to understand the effects of living in space in preparation for a Mars exploration in 2030.

NASA launched the "Twin Study" to conduct an investigation with Scott and Mark, who are identical twins. NASA said, "These investigations will provide broader insight into the subtle effects and changes that may occur in spaceflight as compared to Earth by studying two individuals who have the same genetics, but are in different environments for one year."

The "Twin Study" is a large-scale and coordinated study conducted by universities, corporations and the government. In another press release by NASA, they said that the preparation for the journey to Mars requires innovative thinking. That's why they launched "Twin Study" to "safeguard future astronauts against the stresses of space to the human body."

"Twin Study" was launched earlier and was conducted during Scott Kelly's one year stint in space. While his twin brother, an Ex NASA astronaut, stayed on earth for the whole duration of Scott's trip.

Their contribution is significant to the future of space exploration. NASA said "For the first time, identical twins are providing opportunities to study the effects of spaceflight at a molecular level. Scott's identical twin brother Mark, himself a former astronaut, is spending the year on Earth, enabling researchers to focus on a near-identical comparison of the brothers' genomics and omics profiles".

Mark Kelly posted a photo of himself tethered to devices teasing that he was locked up because his twin is back on Earth.

Both the 52-year-old twins will be undergoing a lot of examination including psychological and cognitive tests and are expected to undergo rigorous testing for the "Twin Study" which is crucial for the preparation of NASA's three year journey to Mars.

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