Cape Canaveral, Florida- NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will arrive back to earth on Tuesday after spending a whole year in the International Space Station. His mission will go to NASA’s history books as Kelly will have spent 340 consecutive days in space, marking a new record.
Kelly has been living at the International Space Station (ISS) since March 27th, 2015. The astronaut is now heading back to earth. He, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korneinko, are expected to arrive in Kazakhstan next week. They are scheduled to land in the Kazakhstan desert at 11:27 p.m. ET Tuesday (10:27 a.m. Kazakhstan time on March 2).
During his mission, Kelly completed 5,440 laps around the planet. He logged 143.8 million miles and drank almost 200 gallons of recycled sweat and urine, collected from himself and everyone else on the spacecraft.
Kelly shared the place with 14 other humans, including his roommate for the long haul, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, who will also be his companion on the trip returning to Earth.
Pictures from space
Since the first moment he arrived at the ISS, kelly has captured hundreds of images of the earth taken from 250 miles up. Those pictures have been posted them on his Twitter and Instagram account as part of his Earth Art series.
The astronaut has posted another stunning image to his Twitter. “Of all the sunrises I’ve seen on my #YearInSpace, this was one of the best! One of the last too. Headed home soon” Kelly wrote next to the picture.
What’s next for Scott Kelly?
Kelly is heading back from space, but it might not be for long as NASA is considering him to be part of its Mars mission. Kelly has become NASA’s first and only yearlong spaceman and Mars explorers will have to spend much longer in space, making him the most viable choice.
As soon as the astronaut arrives from The ISS he will begin preparations for the mission which include tasks such as trying to pop up from a lying position and standing still for three minutes. He’ll take a crack at a mini-obstacle course and attempt to walk a straight line, heel to toe.
“I think we’ll learn a lot about longer-duration spaceflight and how that will take us to Mars someday,” Kelly said Thursday in his final news conference from orbit. “So I’d like to think that this is another of many stepping stones to us landing on Mars sometime in our future.”