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One Year in Space, Burning Skin on Earth
   2016-03-06 16:28:53    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Niu Honglin

In this image released by NASA, Dr. Jill Biden (L), wife of Vice President Joe Biden, greets Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA, after he landed at Ellington Field, on March 3, 2016 in Houston, Texas after his return to Earth. [Photo: CFP]

Living in zero gravity aboard the international space station for hundreds of days can have some interesting affects on the human body.

American astronaut Scott Kelly is now talking about his experience after spending nearly a year in orbit - the longest US space mission on record.


"It seemed like I lived there forever."

Kelly's 340-day mission, roughly twice as long as a typical deployment aboard the space station, was part of the pathfinder program, preparing astronauts for missions to Mars that will last more than two years.

Kelly, a veteran of three previous spaceflights, says he initially felt well after landing on Tuesday, but then fatigue and muscle soreness quickly set.

"I also have an issue with my skin that because it hadn't touched anything for so long, like any significant contact, it's very, very sensitive, to uh...it's almost like a burning feeling."

Kelly and his identical twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, participated in a study that gave doctors an opportunity to look at possible genetic changes from spaceflight.

Researchers have been studying whether he and his twin brother are as genetically similar now as they were before Kelly's launch in March 2015, to learn more about how spaceflight impacts the human body and mind.

The twins reunited on Wednesday. By then, the 3.8 cm increase in height he experienced as a result of his spine expanding in microgravity had reversed.
John Charles, who oversees NASA's human research program, further explains about the study.

"The data analysis is only now beginning in earnest. NASA likes to give investigators a good solid year to analyze their data and to write it up for publication so they can go into the publication, into the scientific literature and be peer reviewed by people that know as much about the data and what it should look like, as the investigators, to see whether it really does hold together."

Kelly and his crewmates tackled more than 450 experiments during the flight.

He was welcomed by a crowd that included Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, who gave him beer and apple pie.

Kelly's mission eclipses the previous U.S. record-long spaceflight of 215 days, set in 2007.

(Source: Reuters)  

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