Despite saying he could spend another year in space, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly announced his retirement from the American space agency this week in a long letter on Facebook to all of his friends and followers. His retirement goes into effect April 1st of this year.
Kelly recently competed his year in space, which spanned approximately 340 consecutive days, and this broke the record for the length of time for any American in space. During this mission, Kelly traveled more than 143,846,525 miles as the International Space Station orbited the Earth.
This may have been the pushing reason for retirement, especially considering humans age faster in space and Kelly must be suffering from extreme jet lag after all that year-long excitement.
Scott, along with his twin brother, Mark, were a part of a space science experiment to see how long space missions would have an impact on the human body.
Despite leaving NASA and giving up any opportunities to go back into space in the future, Kelly did note in his letter that he would continue to provide NASA with any of the bodily samples they request, and his brother Mark will still continue to aid NASA with samples as well. Such samples include blood, urine, and stool samples, as well as physical checkups to see how space has impacted his body over 340 days.
“I remain ever committed and dedicated to the service of human exploration and advancement whether in space or on Earth,” Kelly explains in his open letter to the public.
“Following my retirement, I will continue to participate in the ongoing research related to NASA’s one-year mission for as long as is necessary. I will provide periodic medical samples and support other testing in much the same way that my twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, has made himself available for the Twins Study throughout this past mission.”
Because Mark is Scott’s twin brother, being able to see what one body does on Earth and another does in space allows scientists to see more of what’s going on to the body in space without a whole lot of variation between the two individuals.
The soon-to-be-retired Scott Kelly is a United States Navy retiree, and can now add his NASA space exploration to his resume. He’s quite the impressive and inspirational man for having shown the world what it means to have strong endurance and fortitude, and his efforts will help in long-term human space exploration for decades to come.
Source: Scott Kelly/Facebook