One half of the NASA Twins Study examining the effects of long-term space flight on the human body, Scott orbited our planet for 340 days, while his identical twin brother, Mark, stayed home.
Scott Kelly (on the left), and Mikhail Korniyenko (on the right), were selected for the one-year mission in 2012.
Research teams from around the country had been analyzing the New Jersey native's condition and genetic makeup following his year-long stay aboard the International Space Station as part of NASA's "Twins Study".More news: Rand Paul Says He Will Oppose Nominations of Pompeo, Haspel
Astronauts Mark Kelly, left, and Scott Kelly attend the Breitling Global Roadshow event at The Duggal Greenhouse on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in NY. And how could it be different since they are monozygotic twins. "I no longer have to call @ShuttleCDRKelly my identical twin brother anymore". As the saying goes, science takes time. After six months, however, these changes reversed and Scott reverted back to his pre-spaceflight state. So researchers tested both brothers before, during and after Scott's year in space to map specific changes in the astronauts' physical and mental health.
The studies on the twins are set to be pulled together into a summary paper which will be released later in the year.
While in space, researchers monitored Kelly's metabolites, cytokines, and proteins to learn how space travel affects biological systems. After Scott returned to Earth from his year-long mission, it took his body time to re-adapt to Earth's gravity. According to researchers, Kelly's telomeres began shortening again once he returned to Earth.More news: Nuveen NY Municipal Value Plans Monthly Dividend of $0.03 (NYSE:NNY)
The NASA Twin Study was the result of a partnership between 10 individual investigations, 12 colleges and universities, NASA's biomedical labs and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute Consortium.
"What? My DNA changed by 7%!"
Scott's telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that shorten as you age, became significantly longer in space, but the majority of them shortened within two days of his return to Earth.More news: Oklahoma Says It Will Use Nitrogen Gas in Executions
Although 93% of Scott's genetic expression returned to normal once he returned to Earth, a subset of several hundred "space genes" remained disrupted.