Coming Home: A Look Back at Scott Kelly's Year in Space
Astronaut Scott Kelly has completed his nearly year-long mission aboard the international space station.
Many of us may dream of going to space, but for a year? That's a long time to be "sitting in a tin can," as the David Bowie song goes, even if it's one as big as the International Space Station.
Scott Kelly left Earth in March 2015 and except for some spacewalks, has been aboard the International Space station ever since. He and Russian cosmonaut are returning to Earth on March 1 having spent 340 days in space. The unprecedented length of the mission allowed researchers to study the physical and psychological challenges astronauts face during long-duration spaceflight.
Above: The Soyuz spacecraft detaches from the International Space Station on March 1 as it carries American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko back to Earth after their nearly yearlong stay at the station.
Scott Kelly uses a Soyuz simulator at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, on March 4, 2015.
Retired NASA Astronaut Mark Kelly, left, fist pumps his identical twin brother, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, through glass as Scott Kelly participates in a press conference while in quarantine at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on March 26, 2015.
To maximize the knowledge gained from Scott's mission, NASA also studied his brother, who remained on Earth. Since they're identical twins, researchers had a first-of-a-kind chance to understand how the human body changes in space.
Mark Kelly flew four space shuttle missions and commanded the final flight of space shuttle Endeavour.
Kelly's pictures of the Earth's surface can veer from subdued monochromes to startling explosions of color and often look like abstract art, a resemblance Kelly acknowledges with the hastag #EarthArt. It's a great reminder of how diverse the Earth's topography is.
Above: Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of Australia taken from the International Space Station on Twitter with the caption, "#EarthArt A single pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 16 of 17," on Oct. 13, 2015.
One-year mission crew members Scott Kelly of NASA (left) and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko celebrate their 300th consecutive day in space on Jan. 21. The pair was to spend a total of 340 days aboard the International Space Station as scientists sought to understand what happens to the human body while in microgravity for extreme lengths of time.
Russia’s Soyuz TMA-18M space capsule carrying the International Space Station crew members prepares to land in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, March 2.
Ground personnel help U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly down from the Soyuz TMA-18M space capsule after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, March 2. Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on Wednesday after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars.
Gallery: Month in Space: February 2016