American record breaking Astronaut Scott Kelly is set to retire from NASA, effective April 1.
Kelly joined the astronaut corps in 1996 and currently holds the American record for most time spent in space.
Kelly and his colleague Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to earth from their mission in space less than a month ago.
Both men spent close to a year on the International Space Station, the longest U.S. space mission on record, intended to pave the way for human travel to Mars.
According to NASA, after retiring, Kelly will continue to participate in the ongoing research related to his one-year mission.
Kelly will provide periodic medical samples and support other testing in much the same way that his twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, made himself available for NASA’s Twins Study during his brother’s mission.
“This year-in-space mission was a profound challenge for all involved, and it gave me a unique perspective and a lot of time to reflect on what my next step should be on our continued journey to help further our capabilities in space and on Earth,” Kelly said in the statement from NASA. bled and excited by new opportunities for me to support and share the amazing
“My career with the Navy and NASA gave me an incredible chance to showcase public service to which I am dedicated, and what we can accomplish on the big challenges of our day. I am hum work NASA is doing to help us travel farther into the solar system and work with the next generation of science and technology leaders,” added Kelly
He flew in space four times, beginning with space shuttle Discovery’s trip to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on the STS-103 servicing mission in 1999. On his second mission, STS-118, he crossed the threshold of the International Space Station for the first time as commander of space shuttle Endeavour. He returned to the station for a six-month stay in 2010, commanding Expedition 26.
A veteran of spaceflight, Kelly accepted the opportunity to participate in NASA’s unprecedented yearlong space station mission, which aimed to expand the boundaries of space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit through the collection of critical data on how the human body responds to extended space missions. On this mission, Kelly eclipsed two American space records.
“Records are meant to be broken,” Kelly said. “I am looking forward to when these records in space are surpassed.”
Kelly broke the American record for most cumulative time in space during his one-year mission, accruing 520 days.
“Scott’s contributions to NASA are too many to name,” said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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