Not many people can say what it feels to be in space, much less a year. Astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year living aboard the International Space Station, which sounds like the trip of a lifetime, but a year in space can take a toll on your body, mind and health. That was one of the missions when he was sent to space, to learn how humans can endure a year in space.
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The 52-year-old astronaut has a brother, Mark Kelly and when Scott left to space they were the same height, but now that he’s come back, he’s two inches taller! Why does this happen? Astronauts get taller in space because of the disks of the spinal column. Gravity causes discs to slightly compress, but in space there is no compression, which causes the discs to expand. This causes the spine to elongate, which causes you to stretch when you’re in space.
Kelly knew all the risks that a year in space could do to his health, but felt it was a privilege that would give him the opportunity to be a part of history and science. “The ability to press our limits with regards to exploration and discovery, I think it’s been a privilege of being a part of that and it’s something that I’m going to miss—I’ve been here a long time, and I’m looking forward to going home,” he said.