Year in space: Astronaut Scott Kelly readies for return to Earth

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Scott Kelly returns to Earth next week, and the American astronaut explains what the last year has been like for him and his space mates aboard the ISS.

Since March 27, 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly has been in virtual isolation aboard the International Space Station with his year in space mate, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. They spend their days doing space walks, experiments and taking incredible pictures of Earth. It's a risky journey, and only three others -- all Russian cosmonauts -- have ever been in space longer.

Kelly dreams of smelling the rain, feeling the sunshine and hugging his two kids. When you're floating in space for a year, you miss a lot.

"It's not like we're climbing the walls or anything to get out. We're still doing productive work and we have a high energy level so all is good," Kelly said.

Kelly and Kornienko have watched other astronauts come and go the past year. They are the only two on this nearly yearlong mission. They workout at least 90 minutes a day to maintain muscle mass and prevent bone loss from weightlessness.

But their days are filled mostly with work, from doing experiments and repairs, to taking incredible pictures.

"It's not like I sit around and watch TV or read books. I'm always doing something and now that I'm getting toward the end of this, I feel like I have more stuff to do than I have time to do it," Kelly said.

The days go fast, he says, but it seems the months drag on. His biggest thrill so far? Three space walks.

"If I had to pick one thing, I would say going outside for first, second and third time would be for me the most memorable," he said.

Kelly admits he's looking forward to coming home and says they mark off the days on the wall of the space station. And yet, he's not ruling out a return to space when he comes back to Earth March 1.

"If this does wind up being my last flight, I don't know when I close the hatch, I don't know with 100 percent certainty ... it's the very last time," he said.
Related Topics:
scienceinternational space stationnasaHouston
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