A LOOK AT LIFE IN SPACE

Spending a year in space.  It’s a feat that’s never been accomplished, or documented—until now. We’ll give you a firsthand look at life aboard the international space station.

Aired on November 14, 2017.

TRANSCRIPT

> THE FINAL FRONTIER, ONE PAIR OF ASTRONAUT BROTHERS ARE BOLDLY GOING WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE.

THE INFORMATION GATHERED ABOUT THE KELLY TWINS WILL BE USED AS A KEY RESEARCH ELEMENT FOR FUTURE MISSIONS.

THEIR EFFORTS AND THE EFFORTS OF THE CREW ARE CHRONICLED IN A DOCUMENTARY CALLED A YEAR IN SPACE.

TAKE A QUICK LOOK.

TWINS ARE BORN WITH THE SAME GENETIC MATERIAL, CHANGES OVER TIME.

AND MAYBE IT CHANGES MORE RAPIDLY IN SPACE THAN ON EARTH.

NASA'S DOING A COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN MY BROTHER MARK AND I, SINCE WE'RE IDENTICAL TWINS.

I CALL HIM MUCH MORE WHEN I'M IN SPACE THAN I DO ON EARTH.

AND IT'S BECAUSE HE -- YOU JUST FEEL LIKE YOU'RE SO FAR AWAY, YOU NEED TO TRY TO MAINTAIN SOME KIND OF CONNECTION.

I'LL BE PROBABLY MORE EXCITED FOR HIM THAN ANYBODY ELSE.

I'VE FLOWN FOUR FLIGHTS, THIS WILL BE HIS FOURTH FLIGHT.

MY MOM'S PASSED AWAY, BUT FOR MY DAD, TO HAVE GONE THROUGH THIS WHOLE EXPERIENCE EIGHT TIMES NOW IS A LOT.

> JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT THIS MISSION, COLOMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND A FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT HIMSELF.

DR. MICHAEL MASSAMINO.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

YOU NOT ONLY KNOW ABOUT THIS ACADEMICALLY, YOU DID TWO SPACE MISSIONS AND FOUR SPACE WALKS.

WHICH I THINK IS REALLY REALLY COOL.

ME TOO, IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.

I'M WATCHING THIS VIDEO YOU HAVE UP THERE.

IT'S A FUN JOB.

SOME OF OUR VIEWERS MAY LOOK AT YOU AND SAY, WAIT A MINUTE, WEREN'T YOU ON THE BIG BANG THEORY PLAYING AN ASTRONAUT A COUPLE TIMES?

YES, I GOT A CHANCE TO DO THAT TOO.

YOU KNOW FROM WHENCE YOU SPEAK SO THEY SAY.

WE'LL FIND OUT.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT SCOTT KELLY HAS BEEN IN SPACE NOR A FULL YEAR.

YEAH.

IT'S THE LONGEST ANYBODY HAS DONE THAT.

WHY IS THAT SUCH A BIG DEAL.

THE IDEA OF SPENDING A FULL YEAR IN SPACE.

IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE'VE DONE ON LEAVING OUR PLANET.

WE TAKE THESE STEPS, GOING TO THE MOON MANY YEARS AGO MANY THE SPACE STATION WAS REALLY OUR FIRST EXPERIENCE OF HAVING A PERMANENT PRESENCE -- AT LEAST FOR THE UNITED STATES.

RUSSIA, WHILE WE WERE GOING TO THE MOON AND FLYING THE SPACE SHUTTLE, THEY HAD SPACE STATIONS.

ESPECIALLY THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE EFFORT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA, THIS WAS A MAJOR STEP IN GETTING A PERMANENT FACILITY UP THERE, THAT'S BEEN UP THERE SINCE 2000, WE'VE HAD A PERSON ON THE SPACE STATION, WE'VE CHANGED THEM OUT SINCE THAT TIME.

WE'VE HAD THIS PERMANENT PRESENCE IN SPACE.

THEY'VE BEEN BASICALLY SIX MONTH TRIPS.

NOW WE HAVE SCOTT AND HIS COUNTERPART, RUSSIANS COULD MONDAY AT UP THERE FOR A FULL YEAR.

THERE WAS TALK ABOUT GOING TO MARS OR THE MOON.

IT SEEMS LIKE MOMENTUM IS PICKING UP TO GO TO MARS.

THAT'S A LONG TRIP.

YOU'RE GOING TO PUT PEOPLE IN SPACE FOR ABOUT 2 1/2 YEARS.

BY DOING THIS YEAR MISSION, WE'RE LEARNING AN AWFUL LOT OF WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE TO PUSH PEOPLE OUT THERE FOR A LONGER MISSION, WHICH IS OUR GOAL.

I THINK OUR GOAL AS HUMANITY, TO GET AWAY FROM THE MOON, GET GOING AND GET PEOPLE OUT TO MARS.

THIS IS A HUGE STEP IN TAKING THAT BIG LEAP.

NEXT 20, 30 YEARS, DO YOU THINK REALISTICALLY, THERE'S A FAIRLY GOOD CHANCE WE GET TO MARS?

I THINK THERE IS.

I WAS TALKING TO ONE OF MY FRIENDS THAT HAD JUST COME BACK FROM THE SPACE SHUTTLE, WHO WAS UP FOR SIX MONTHS WHEN SCOTT WAS UP THERE, HE JUST GOT BACK, HE WAS UP THERE LAST WEEK, I GOT TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH HIM, HE WAS SAYING THIS NEW -- THEY'RE PICKING A NEW ASTRONAUT CLASS AND HOW THEY'RE SAYING, THEY'RE GOING TO SEND THESE GUYS TO THE MOON OR MARS.

AND HE WAS SAYING, THEY TOLD MIKE THE SAME THING IN 1996.

YOU'RE ALL GOING TO MARS.

YOU'RE GOING TO THE MOON OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

IT'S BEEN LONGER THAN WE EXPECTED.

WE WERE HOPING WE WOULD ALREADY BE THERE.

I THINK REALISTICALLY IT'S A REALLY TOUGH PROBLEM.

GOING TO A PLACE LIKE MARS AS FAR AWAY AND IT'S IN A DIFFERENT ORBIT.

EVEN THE MOON, WE KNOW WHERE IS IT IS.

WE'RE IN THE SAME PLANE OF THE ECLIP TICK AS MARS.

SOMETIMES IT'S FURTHER AWAY.

YOU'LL HAVE TO LEAVE THE PLANET AND REALLY NO KIDDING LEAVE, WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO COME BACK FOR A WHILE.

AND THAT'S THE BIG CHALLENGE, YOU'RE GOING TO BE GONE FOR.

IS IT REALISTIC?

I THINK IT IS.

WE'RE GETTING TO THE POINT, ESPECIALLY WITH WHAT WE'VE DONE ON THE SPACE STATION, THINGS WE'VE LEARNED DURING SCOTT'S MISSION ARE GOING TO HELP US GET THERE.

YES, I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF INTEREST, TECHNOLOGY IS GROWING, COMMERCIAL COMPANIES LIKE SPACEX AND SOME OF THESE OTHER COMPANIES THEY'RE SEEING WAYS TO MAKE THIS COMMERCIALLY VIABLE, SPACE TRAVEL THAT IS.

I THINK ONCE WE GET WHAT NASA'S DOING, WHAT WE'RE LEARNING ON THE SPACE STATION AND HOPEFULLY COMBINED WITH WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THESE COMMERCIAL COMPANIES, AND THE GENERAL INTEREST.

THE MOVIE THE MARTIAN.

IT HAS PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT IT.

I THINK WE'LL GET THERE, HOPEFULLY WITHIN OUR LIFETIMES.

IT'S A REAL PLEASURE MEETING YOU.

IT'S ALL FASCINATING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

BE WELL.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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