NASA | Mission Retrospective: Astronaut Scott Kelly Reflects on Full Year in Space
Astronaut Scott Kelly to Retire from NASA in April
March 11, 2016
After retiring, Kelly will continue to participate in the ongoing research related to his one-year mission. He will provide periodic medical samples and support other testing in much the same way that his twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, made himself available for NASA’s Twins Studyduring his brother’s mission.
“This year-in-space mission was a profound challenge for all involved, and it gave me a unique perspective and a lot of time to reflect on what my next step should be on our continued journey to help further our capabilities in space and on Earth,” Kelly said. “My career with the Navy and NASA gave me an incredible chance to showcase public service to which I am dedicated, and what we can accomplish on the big challenges of our day. I am humbled and excited by new opportunities for me to support and share the amazing work NASA is doing to help us travel farther into the solar system and work with the next generation of science and technology leaders.”
Kelly flew in space four times, beginning with space shuttle Discovery’s trip to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on the STS-103 servicing mission in 1999. On his second mission, STS-118, he crossed the threshold of the International Space Station for the first time as commander of space shuttle Endeavour. He returned to the station for a six-month stay in 2010, commanding Expedition 26.
A veteran of spaceflight, Kelly accepted the opportunity to participate in NASA’s unprecedented yearlong space station mission, which aimed to expand the boundaries of space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit through the collection of critical data on how the human body responds to extended space missions. On this mission, Kelly eclipsed two American space records.
“Records are meant to be broken,” Kelly said. “I am looking forward to when these records in space are surpassed.”
Kelly broke the American record for most cumulative time in space during his one-year mission, accruing 520 days.
“Scott’s contributions to NASA are too many to name,” said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “In his year aboard the space station, he took part in experiments that will have far-reaching effects, helping us pave the way to putting humans on Mars and benefiting life on Earth. His passion for this work has helped give hundreds of thousands of people a better understanding of what NASA does, thanks in part to the numerous photos and updates he shared from space. We appreciate his years of service and anticipate many benefits to come from them, thanks to the research he’s supporting.”
SCOTT J. KELLY (CAPTAIN, USN, RET.)
PERSONAL DATA: Born February 21, 1964 in Orange, New Jersey. He has two children.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Mountain High School, West Orange, New Jersey, in 1982; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1987 and a Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1996.
ORGANIZATIONS: Associate Fellow, Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Member, Association of Space Explorers
SPECIAL HONORS: Two Defense Superior Service Medals, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, two Navy Unit Commendations, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, three NASA Space Flight Medals, Russian Federation Medal for merit in Space Exploration. Korolev Diploma from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, 1999. Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the State University of New York, 2008.
EXPERIENCE: Kelly received his commission from the State University of New York Maritime College in May 1987 and was designated a naval aviator in July 1989 at Naval Air Station (NAS) in Beeville, Texas. He then reported to Fighter Squadron 101 at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, for initial F-14 Tomcat training. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 143 and made overseas deployments to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Persian Gulf aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). Kelly was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in January 1993 and completed training in June 1994. After graduation, he worked as a test pilot at the Strike Aircraft Test Squadron, Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, flying the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet. Kelly was the first pilot to fly an F-14 with an experimental digital flight control system installed and performed subsequent high angle of attack and departure testing. He has logged over 8,000 hours in more than 40 different aircraft and spacecraft and has over 250 carrier landings. Kelly holds a United States Coast Guard Third Mate’s license. Kelly retired from the U.S. Navy in June of 2012.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in April 1996, Kelly reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Following completion of training, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems/Operations branch. Kelly has logged more than 520 days in space on four space flight, and currently holds the record for time in orbit by a
U.S. Astronaut. He served as Space Shuttle pilot on STS-103 in 1999 and was the Mission Commander on STS-118 in 2007. Following STS-103, Kelly served as NASA’s Director of Operations in Star City, Russia. He served as a backup crewmember for Interanation Space Station (ISS) Expedition 5 and as the Astronaut Office Space Station Branch Chief. Kelly also served as a Flight Engineer for ISS Expedition 25 and as the Commander of ISS Expedition 26. In March 2015, Kelly launched for a one-year mission to the ISS, serving as a Flight Engineer for increments 43 and 44, and Commander for increments 45 and 46.
SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-103 (December 19 to December 27, 1999) was an 8-day mission, during which the crew successfully installed new instruments and upgraded systems on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Enhancing HST scientific capabilities required three spacewalks (EVAs). The STS-103 mission was accomplished in 120 Earth orbits, traveling 3.2 million miles in 191 hours and 11 minutes.
STS-118 (August 8 to August 21, 2007) was the 119th space shuttle flight, the 22nd flight to the ISS, and the 20th flight for Endeavour. During the mission, Endeavour’s crew successfully added another truss segment, a new gyroscope and an external spare parts platform to the ISS. A new system that enables docked shuttles to draw electrical power from the station to extend visits to the outpost was successfully activated. A total of four EVAs were performed by three crewmembers. Endeavour carried approximately 5,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to the station and returned to Earth with approximately 4,000 pounds of hardware and equipment. Traveling 5.3 million miles in space, the STS-118 mission was completed in 12 days, 17 hours, 55 minutes and 34 seconds.
Kelly launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft on October 7, 2010 to serve a tour of duty on the ISS. He assumed command of Expedition 26 once the Soyuz TMA-19 undocked on November 24, 2010. After a 159 day stay aboard the ISS, Commander Kelly and Russian Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka safely landed their Soyuz spacecraft on the Kazakhstan Steppe on March 16, 2011.
Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko launched in March 2015 for a year-long mission to the International Space Station. The mission’s goal is to understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space. During the 340- day mission, almost 400 experiments were conducted on the station. Data from the expedition will be used to reduce risks to the health of crewmembers as NASA prepares to advance space travel beyond low Earth orbit. Kelly was a Flight Engineer for increments 43 and 44, and the International Space Station Commander for increments 45 and 46. Kelly’s year in space included 5,440 orbits around the Earth and he conducted three spacewalks before returning home in March 2016.
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