After being stranded in space for 500 days, astronaut Scott Kelly describes Earth’s atmosphere as fragile. The famous space traveler has set an official record for being in orbit longer than anyone else and is now preparing to come back home.
Before departing he managed to put some time aside and give an interview for CNN, recounting what the experience of living on board the International Space Station has been like for him. While talking about his journey, the cosmonaut admits that the mission was much longer than he thought it would be, seeing as time didn’t pass easily there.
He says that even though he doesn’t dismiss the importance of his mission, he now has a deeper appreciation for freedom and all the things that our planet is able to provide us.
Chief Medical Correspondent from CNN Sanjay Gupta asked Kelly to describe what Earth looks like from the International Space Station. His response was that he saw many things that he didn’t expect, like the appearance of certain regions of the world at various times or certain climate changes.
He expands on that idea by saying that several parts of Asia or Central America look particularly polluted when you see them from space, so when you analyze the atmosphere surrounding them, you get the distinct impression that those are very sick regions.
Scott Kelly also made a surprising comment, by stating that the Earth looks particularly fragile from space, like a delicate body that we really need to take care of. While living inside the space station, Kelly has been extremely active on social platforms, sharing many photos of our planet, taken from the astronomer’s own perspective.
During his 500 days in space, he has been involved in six different missions and one of his current objectives are to see how probable a trip to Mars would be. In response to this question, the scientist said the chances do exist, however it would take a lot more preparation to make that happen.
One of the biggest challenges they would face when launching a mission on Mars is the high level of radiation, which is significantly higher than on our planet or even on the International Space Station.
The astronaut is also involved in an interesting medical experiment. Taking advantage of the fact that he has an identical twin brother, named Mark Kelly, who has never left our planet’s confines, he wants to compare the two and find out if aging in space shows any physical or mental difference to aging on Earth.
Image Source: CNN