The International Space Station: Studying Humans in Space
Photo of the Soyuz return capsule TMA-18M as it returns to Earth on March 2, 2016, with astronaut Scott Kelley and cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and  Sergey Volkov
Photo Credit: NASA/BIll Ingalls

 
American astronaut  Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut MIkhail Korniev returned to Earth on March 2, 2016 after spending 340 days in space. Their long-duration stay on the International Space Station was the center of the  "One Year Mission" by NASA's Human Spaceflight Program.

With his stay of over 340 days, Scott Kelly set the record for longest stay in space by a US astronaut. Scientists hope that by studying the effects of space  the bodies of both Scott and Mikhail they will be able to better prepare astronauts for the longer duration space missions that will be needed for trips to nearby asteroids and to Mars. 
 
Another valuable asset for NASA's continuing studies of the impact of weightlessness on human bodies is the fact that Scott Kelly has a twin brother: Mike Kelly, a former astronaut himself, and who stayed on Earth throughout the mission. While not a controlled experiment between the twins, the study of both of their bodies will still prove useful and yield valuable insights into studies of bone loss, eyesight degeneration, blood pressure, changes in musculature, and other changes the body experiences in space versus under the changes the body experiences normal Earth-gravity conditions. Scientists are expecting to find large amounts of data the includes changes at the molecular level between the two men as their cells and genomics will be compared over the weeks and months to come

If you would like to know more about the work going into the One-Year Mission, you can check out our Webinar with Dr. Liz Warren. Dr. Liz Warren presented the science behind NASA's Human Research Program's (HRP) research project  on board the International Space Station with NSN members in February of 2016, right before their return of these pioneering spacefarers. You can watch the webinar video on either our resource page or on YouTube which includes an excellent Q&A session at the end with NSN members.

There are many more resources and articles on relating to the OneYear Mission on the official page for the study. You can also find resources on human spaceflight and much more about the space station on the official page for the International Space Station!
 
Did you know that you can see the massive, bright space station as it flies overhead on its speedy, low orbit? Head over to the Spot the Station site to find out the next time that the ISS will pass over your head. You can even sign up for alerts!
 
photo of Astronaut Scott Kelley after his return to Earth
Astronaut Scott Skelly, Commander of ISS Mission 46, safely on the ground in Kazakhstan on March 2, 2016, after spending almost one year in space on board the International Space Station.
Photo Credit: NASA/BIll Igalls