After Year in Space, Scott Kelly returns to Earth

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Scott Kelly to return home following year in space (KTRK)

340 days in space. 143 million miles. 10,000 sunrises and sunsets.

Astronaut Scott Kelly's year long mission in space is over.

He is right now aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule beginning his journey home.

"I'm just mostly really excited and pretty much relieved, that we're finally here!" said Kelly's girlfriend Amiko Kauderer.

Before his mission she described it as the "most romantic" long distance relationship ever. She says it's lived up to that billing but has been tough. "It's made us much, much stronger," she said.

Scientists will be measuring the effects of micro gravity on Kelly's body and mind. Two hours of daily exercise was supposed to limit bone & muscle loss. What about vision changes? Previous astronauts flying longer duration missions reported eyesight issues. Kelly will endure a battery of tests upon his return. The results will be compared to nearly identical DNA which has been here on earth - his twin brother and former shuttle commander Mark Kelly.

"Exploring is hard. It's very easy to sit at home and do nothing," Kelly told us before launch.

Only sponge baths are allowed on orbit. In March of last year he told Eyewitness News that upon his return he wants to take a shower. He said he would look forward to feeling a breeze again, the smell of rain and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

He also said candidly, "One of my great hopes is that I go to space for a year and that I-45 construction in Clear Lake is completely done!" It is anything but completed. TxDOT says Kelly would have to fly two more years if he wanted that project done before he returns.

Kelly tweeted 1,000 spectacular pictures during his lengthy mission in space.

PHOTOS: Astronaut Scott Kelly's Year in Space

You can see all of the photos at

Kelly is scheduled to land in Kazakhstan at about 10:25pm CT tonight. You can watch live coverage on abc13 and

Related Topics:
technologynasaspaceinternational space stationHouston
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