Astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth on Tuesday morning after his year-long mission in space. Kelly landed in the Kazakhstan desert along with two Russian astronauts both NASA and Russian mission control confirmed to the media. All three astronauts were rushed to field testing shortly after their landing.
The 340 day mission on the International Space Station is the longest any astronaut has stayed in space. The purpose of the mission was to see how the human body reacted to being in space for longer periods of time, something NASA will incorporate in their manned mission to Mars expected to launch in 2021.
Some of the side effects of being in space long-term are impaired vision and weakened bones, however Kelly revealed he felt great and kept up with his physical activity to the point where he could have stayed up there for “another 100 days.” However, he did say the isolation and loneliness did take its toll.
Kelly observed many interesting sights from his view of Earth in space, mentioning that some areas of pollution stay consistent day-to-day and they witnessed some spectacular storms that were definitely not natural. Kelly is quoted as saying the planet’s atmosphere seems very “fragile” but that it could be reversed if we do our part in saving the planet.
This was Kelly’s fourth mission to space.