Scott Kelly Breaks American Record for Time Spent in Space

This Friday, astronaut Scott Kelly achieved a significant feat. After staying in space till Friday, October 16, he has become the American to spend maximum time there.  It can be said that the record is all set to become bigger and harder to break. This is because Kelly has completed just a little over 50% of his current mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), which is set to last almost a year.

Kelly celebrated the moment with a tweet. Orbiting our planet above the Himalayas, he tweeted: “records are meant to be broken”. Here, it must be noted that Friday was the 383rd day he spent in space. According to NASA, Kelly has completed the feat after hitting the space for a total of 4 missions.

NASA said that this ongoing one-year mission has been designed to provide scientists with the opportunity of studying how the human body reacts to long-duration space flight. Scientists are also carrying out parallel studies on Earth, and here the man studied is Mark Kelly, Scott Kelly’s identical twin brother.

NASA reported that Scott was awarded the title of the American to spend longest cumulative time in outer space by astronaut Mike Fincke. In a press release published on Friday, NASA wrote that this record breaking event holds great importance for the agency as every additional day spent in space provides them with the opportunity of better understanding how a long-duration space flight can affect the human body and mind. The information gathered during Scott’s stay in space is critical to the progress of NASA’s manned mission to Mars.

Scott is scheduled to return to Earth on March 3, 2016. This will take his tally of days spent in space to 522. He started last year from Kazakhstan on March 27 aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. During the launch, he was accompanied by two cosmonauts. Mikhail Kornienko, one of those cosmonauts, will also be staying up for the year-long mission.

The other cosmonaut Gennady Padalka currently holds the record of spending a maximum number of days in orbit. He came back to Earth on September 12 and right now the total number of days spent by Padalka in space is 878.