After 340 days in space, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly has returned to earth on Tuesday, a testament to the strength of the human body outside of the protection of our atmosphere. Kelly returned to earth via the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Kelly’s long trip was an investigation into whether or not humanity could survive and even thrive for a long space journey, which would be required if NASA or private space firms are to move forward with trying to achieve a human landing on the planet Mars. A normal tenure on the International Space Station lasts about six months, so Kelly’s nearly year-long journey is a record-breaking event.
Kelly’s case was particularly notable as his identical twin brother remained on earth and was studied throughout to see what effects space has on the human body. Kelly’s brother ate an identical diet and practiced an identical exercise routine to try to replicate conditions.
When Kelly returned, he was asked how he felt. “I felt like I’d been up there my whole life.” Kelly remarked that he felt that he could have stayed in space “however long it took” and that the implications for long-term space travel were extremely positive.
Here is a look at Kelly being removed from the capsule. You can find more videos at the NASA Twitter account.
— NASA (@NASA) March 2, 2016