After completing a year-long mission on the International Space Station (ISS), veteran NASA astronaut Scott Kelly says goodbye to the association after 20-years of working with them. The veteran retired from the agency on Friday, April 1, 2016.
Scott Kelly Retires From NASA After 20-Years in Service
It is known that Scott Kelly has the US record for most cumulative time in space, which is 520 days. While he did say goodbye to the agency, he will still continue to participate in the ongoing research that is related to his one-year mission. He will provide periodic medical samples, as well as supporting other tests in the same way his twin brother (and former astronaut as well) Mark Kelly, as both brothers have made themselves available for NASA’s twins study.
“The year-in-space mission was a profound challenge for all involved, and it gave me a unique perspective and a lot of time to reflect on what my next step should be,” Kelly stated. As per the now retired astronaut, the view of the rainbow-hued Himalayan lakes and steady work assisted in staying completely sane during the stay on-board the ISS.
The now ex-astronaut says that he was “humbled and excited by new opportunities” for him as he is allowed to continue supporting NASA in helping people traverse farther into the solar system. The veteran astronaut joined the corps back in 1996 and has already flown to space and back for four times. He already completed a 340-day mission on-board the ISS earlier this month, and it was the longest continuous stay in space for any American astronaut.
Brian Kelly, now director of Flight Operations over at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, stated, “Scott’s contributions to NASA are too many to name.” He continued by saying, “In his year aboard the space station, he took part in experiments that will have far-reaching effects, helping us pave the way to putting humans on Mars and benefiting life on Earth.”
Scott Kelly said in a recent interview, “When we do things that are really hard, we can achieve great things – and that has worked as a great model for me.” He also tweeted about his retirement that goes “#ThankYou, @NASA! It’s been an incredible 20 years! #YearInSpace.” As for his brother, Mark stayed on the ground while his twin was inside the ISS during the one-year mission. Researchers are not comparing the twins to find if there are any genetic changes that have transpired during the time Scott was up in space.