Scott Kelly is definitely the man of the hour or today’s celebrity, as he is acknowledged as NASA astronaut spends record time in space.
He is currently on board the International Space Station and his time spent there has amounted to 200 days, out of a 342 day mission on the Station that is currently orbiting Earth. From those 200, he has already spent 180 in other missions, which makes him a veteran. As far as orbiting the Earth in a metal capsule goes. He is also a hero, for showing us again how worthy and noble it is to study the galaxy.
He managed in this way to break the record set prior to this by another astronaut, Mike Fincke, back in 2011.
Scott Kelly also has a very much followed Twitter account, where he posts breathtaking pictures of different parts of the world, as he slowly orbits around the globe. Seen from so high above, landmarks such as the Sahara Desert, the Bahamas or the Himalayas amount to him being a very lucky man. As much as one can consider spending a whole year in space being lucky.
Studies have shown that spending a large amount of time in space at zero gravity affects the human body. For example, it stretches your spine, as your vertebrae are no longer pressed together by gravity’s pull. This means, in layman’s terms, that astronauts do get taller while in space.
It can also have a powerful effect on your sleeping cycle. While in space, astronauts have to literally strap themselves in when they’re sleeping. Once unconscious with sleep, the muscles relax, their head bobs forward and their arms and legs float around them like being underwater. Most of them state it’s difficult to get used to.
Spending time in space also takes a toll on the astronauts’ immune system. This means that the risk of getting an infection while out there is much higher for them than for us back at home.
But the effects prolonged time on a space station has on the human body are one of the reasons Kelly is actually there. He has a twin brother who has remained on Earth and, during the span of a year, scientists will study them both to see how their body changes, one being on Earth and the other in space.
This represents a great opportunity for doctors and researchers, who are very glad that both brothers accepted to take part in the study.
Image Source: www.pixabay.com