American astronaut Scott Kelly is back on Earth after completing a successful year in space.
At 11:26 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 2, Scott Kelly landed in Kazakhstan after spending 340 consecutive days aboard the International Space Station with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, completing more days in space than any other NASA astronauts. The international record is 438 days, set in 1994 and 1995 by a Russian astronaut Valeri Polyakov on the Russian Mir space station.
— NASA (@NASA) March 2, 2016
Kelly launched on March 27 last year from Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz rocket with two other astronauts, one of whom spent a full year with him onboard. Since then, he has diligently documented his days in space through social media, including Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, etc. He shared with us breathtaking photos of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, shots of the Earth with #EarthArt, videos of him playing liquid ping pong, the progress of his space plants (flowers and lettuce!) and answered all of our burning questions: What is the creepiest thing you have encountered in space? What are dreams like? What is stargazing like out there?
To celebrate his successful trip and return, We take a look back at Kelly’s year in space through his photos and videos. To learn more about Scott Kelly’s journey in space, watch the documentary A Year in Space, premiering on March 2 at 8/7c.
Here is Kelly’s first photo shared with us on orbit.
Got a reminder from the @WhiteHouse of the President’s call to action: “Good luck, Captain. Make sure to @Instagram it! We’re proud of you.” My first post to Instagram from on orbit. Made it! Moving into crew quarters on @ISS. Thank you, Mr. President and to your wife, Mrs. Obama, for your continued support of this important #yearinspace that will expand our future in space exploration for all mankind. Happy to report for duty. #iss #space #exploration #nasa #whitehouse #potus #flotus #thankyou A photo posted by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on
One of Kelly’s missions was to perform biology, among more than 400 experiments he worked on. He was able to grow these beautiful zinnias.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 17, 2016
However, those zinnias weren’t the first plants grown in space. The astronauts successfully grew and ate lettuce last year as well.
Speaking of food, making dinner in space can be tricky — everything floats in this world of zero gravity!
Oh, how we got to witness the beauty of the Milky Way and some of the most stunning auroras.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) August 9, 2015
He also reminded us how beautiful the Earth really is.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 12, 2016
And apparently, New York City is one of Kelly’s favorite places (we’re not surprised).
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) April 11, 2015
During his time in space, Scott Kelly witnessed 10,944 sunrises and sunsets while circling the earth every 90 minutes. That’s 16 each day.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 10, 2016
When Scott Kelly arrives in Houston, scientists will study both Scott and his twin brother and astronaut Mark Kelly for the effects of space.
And when all is said and done, there is room for a bit of humor in space, too.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 23, 2016