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Astronaut Scott Kelly On His Yearlong Journey To Space And Back

Scott Kelly takes a selfie inside the Cupola, a special module on the Interna...

Credit: NASA

Above: Scott Kelly takes a selfie inside the Cupola, a special module on the International Space Station which gives a 360-degree viewing of the Earth, in an undated photo.

Astronaut Scott Kelly On His Yearlong Journey To Space And Back

GUEST:

Scott Kelly, author, "Endurance"

Transcript

Astronaut Scott Kelly has been back on Earth for over a year, after setting a record for the single-longest American space mission. But in a sense, his mission is far from over.

He will be studied by NASA for years to see what long-term effects such a long exposure to space had on him. He will be compared with his twin brother, astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who stayed on Earth.

In his new book, "Endurance," Kelly takes readers inside life at the International Space Station, its sights, its sounds and even its smells.

"It has a very distinct, unmistakable smell," Kelly said. "To me, it smells like burning metal, maybe like a welding smell or maybe like a sparkler on the Fourth of July."

The Kelly brothers are being studied because potential manned missions to Mars will require years in space and scientists are eager to find out exactly how that might affect human health. A new documentary follows Kelly's recovery, along with two astronauts who are training to be part of that next generation of astronauts who might travel to Mars. "Beyond A Year in Space" airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on KPBS-TV.

"I think I'd be lying to say I didn't wish I'd be the guy going to Mars someday or be the guy that got to walk on the Moon, work on the Moon, visit the Moon," Kelly said. "But there's only one space program in this country and I just feel really privileged to have the experience I had. So it's not like I dwell on it."

Kelly joins KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday with more about his record-setting time in space.

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