NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is scheduled to return to Earth today after 340 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where he celebrated his birthday, ate lettuce grown on in space and shared a lot of photos. And you can watch his return home happen live.
This was Kelly’s fourth time on a space mission, and after breaking the record for the more time spent in space by any American late last year, now has a total of 520 cumulative space days under his belt.
Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko traveled to the ISS for the year-long mission in hopes to discover more about the long-term effects of space and space travel on the human mind and body.
Along with parallel tests done on Kelly’s identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who is a retired astronaut, the results will provide more insights into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and stress of long-duration spaceflight.
Coming back home
NASA is providing live coverage as the two “year in space” crew, Kelly and Kornienko, along with cosmonaut Sergey Volkovcosmon return to Earth later today .
NASA’s live broadcast, which you can watch here, will begin at 4:15pm ET today, as the astronauts bid farewell to the ISS and fellow crew members who are remaining onboard.
This is followed immediately by coverage of the hatch closure, scheduled at 4:40pm ET, as the returning astronauts prepare themselves for undocking from the ISS.
NASA’s broadcast will then pick up again at 7:45pm ET for the undocking, which is scheduled for 8:05pm ET, and then again later tonight at 10:15pm ET for coverage of the de-orbit burn (scheduled for 10:32pm ET) and landing at Kazakhstan (scheduled for 11:25pm ET), after which we should see Kelly and Kornienko emerge and stand on Earth for the first time in a year.
Kelly will return home to Houston tomorrow, to be welcomed back by Second Lady of the US Dr. Jill Biden, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, along with Kelly’s twin brother. A full media briefing will be held later this week on Friday, March 4, when Kelly will answer questions about his year in space.