Down to Earth

iss025e017689cropAs you may have already heard, American astronaut Scott Kelly will soon return to Earth, both literally and figuratively, after spending (almost) an entire year aboard the International Space Station. During his lengthy stay in low-Earth orbit, he conducted hundreds of scientific experiments, and was himself subjected to scientific experimentation on a daily basis. Capt. Kelly, who had already visited the space station on several previous occasions, was never alone during his year-long residency aboard the space station. For a brief period, there were as many as nine people living aboard the ISS, which resulted in lively dinner parties (video here). One of his colleagues/cohabitants in space, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, has lived alongside Kelly for the mission’s entire duration. I’ve already gushed about Kelly’s skills as a photographer (previous post here), and I was impressed to discover that he has also kept a personal journal for the past year. Researchers with NASA’s Human Research Program will pore over the entries in search of behavioral peculiarities, though it’s not clear if/when the rest of us will have access. For the time being, you can always watch Kelly explain to Stephen Colbert how (or whether) he has managed to avoid “space madness” at this link. Until next time, over and out.