Returning astronaut Scott Kelly is back on home soil in the US after more than 340 days aboard the International Space Station.
To reiterate just how long the trip was, Kelly – who has recorded the longest single stay on the ISS for a US astronaut – explained that when he left Houston in February 2015 he was aged 50.
He’s now 52.
But he was utterly humble about his role in the year-long mission, saying the achievement belonged to Nasa and the American people.
The US space agency was using the trip to find out how future space explorers will cope with the long-term effects of space travel as part of preparations for eventual travel to Mars.
Minutes after emerging from their capsule in Kazakhstan, Kelly and his year-long colleague Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, were whisked in chairs to a medical tent where they did their best to stand, walk, jump and navigate obstacles — everything an astronaut might need to do immediately upon arriving at Mars.
Tests will continue for the foreseeable future.
Kelly’s identical twin brother Mark, a former astronaut, is also part of the testing to see how the two brothers compare after their very different years.