Space Astronaut & Cosmonaut Returns to Earth after spending nearly one year in space, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko returned to Earth after spending nearly one year in space. Their Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft touched down on the plains of Kazakhstan in the morning of March 2, 2016.
Scientists hope that what they learn about the effects of the long flight on Kelly and Korniyenko will pave the way for future crewed missions to Mars, which would last about one year. During his long flight, Kelly completed three space walks, grew the first lettuce and flowers in space, and even chased his fellow astronauts around the station in a gorilla suit. An important part of the Year in Space mission’s science is the twin study in which Scott will be compared with his identical twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly.
Scott Kelly’s 340 days in space was the longest single spaceflight by an American, and he also broke the record for most cumulative time in space by an American, having spent 520 total days in space over four spaceflights.
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