Scott Kelly Returns Home to Houston

Scott Kelly Returns Home to Houston

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned to his home in Houston, TX in the
early hours this morning (March 3) Eastern Standard Time.  He  stood
before family, friends, colleagues and TV cameras showing no signs of
having spent the last 340 days in the weightlessness of the
International Space Station.

“It’s great to be back in Texas, on U.S. soil … back here on planet Earth,” he said as he addressed well-wishers, surrounded by Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden; his twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly; Presidential Science Adviser Dr. John Holdren, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden; and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa.  Bolden and Ochoa also are former astronauts.

Scott Kelly, center, with, from left to right, Jill Biden, Mark Kelly, John Holdren, Charlie Bolden and Ellen Ochoa.  Screenshot from NASA TV.

Mark and Scott Kelly are identical twins and participated in a Twins Study throughout the mission to help scientists understand the effects of long duration spaceflight on human physiology and psychology in preparation for trips to destinations like Mars.  Kelly and his Year-in-Space partner Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will undergo extensive tests now they are back on Earth as well.   The two men returned to Earth on March 1 along with Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov on the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft.

Kelly flew back from Kazakhstan on a NASA airplane (stopping twice enroute), landing at Ellington Field, TX very close to Johnson Space Center at about 2:30 am EST.  Speaking briefly, Kelly stressed that his flight was not an individual achievement, but a team effort, quoting a friend who taught him that “teamwork makes the dream work.”  He added that this would not be the last such mission — “it’s in our DNA, of our country, to explore and we must never stop doing this, we must lead. we must learn, and we must discover.”

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