Scott Kelly's Last Sunrise Ending One-Year Space Mission

Saturday, March 5, 2016 - 14:56

Scott Kelly, the American astronaut who returned to Earth after almost a year, shared a series of sunrise photographs with his social media followers on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

According to NASA, when he prepared to depart the International Space Station and return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft, Kelly sent this photo and the following tweet:

Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos undocked the Soyuz from the ISS at 8:02 p.m. EST and landed in Kazakhstan at 11:26 p.m.

According to ABC News, this is 52-year-old Kelly's fourth mission, bringing him to a lifetime total to 520 days in space. The 340-day-long mission was designed to measure the effect of space travel on Kelly's body, and entailed:

- 143,846,525 miles of space travel

- 5,440 orbits, circling the planet every 90 minutes

- 10,260 sunrises and sunsets, 16 every day.

- 640 hours on a treadmill to stay in shape

- 20 medical tests

NASA will compare the results of the data gained in this period to his identical twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly. It's expected the "Twin Study" will yield new insights that can help inform a future mission into deep space.

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