HOUSTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – For the first time ever, an astronaut will spend a year at the International Space Station. Scott Kelly spoke to the public for the first time since rocketing into space last Friday and his brother Mark Kelly also helped with the interview.
Scott Kelly’s mission will help scientists better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space. NASA says his mission is critical to helping it advance plans to send humans to Mars.
Mark Kelly, Scott Kelly’s twin, will also be part of the mission. While his brother is on the ISS, Mark Kelly will be on the ground taking part in biomedical studies. Mark flew four space shuttle missions and commanded the final flight of space shuttle Endeavour.
Mark said the twin study will help put a human on Mars. He said we understand a lot about the engineering it takes to get there, but not a lot about the physiology. “This is a unique opportunity to study Scott and I. How the unforgivable environment of zero gravity and radiation impacts the human body,” Mark said.
Spending a year in space may seem like a long time. But, it’s nothing compared to what it will take to go to Mars. Mark Kelly said getting to Mars will take about two years. And, the target to have a human reach the red planet is 2030.
“We all take this job very seriously,” Scott Kelly said from space. “The tens of thousands of people all around the world that make the space station amazing and what it is.”
During the interview, Mark Kelly made sure to send a shout out to his dad. Who he said is the only person on the planet to watch his sons blast off into space eight times!