Daily VideoMarch 3, 2016
Astronaut Scott Kelly returns to Earth after year in space
How will current research into space travel impact future exploration?
People around the world held their breath Tuesday night as American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth after a 340 day mission in space.
Kelly and Kornienko spent nearly a year aboard the International Space Station in order to better understand the effects of such an environment on the human body. They descended to Earth in the Soyuz capsule, landing safely in Kazakhstan.
Kelly’s stay aboard the ISS was the longest amount of time any American has spent in space. During the course of the trip, he traveled 143 million miles and orbited the Earth more than 5,400 times.
“I believe in exploration, and I will miss being on the front lines of that endeavor,” Kelly said.
Kelly has an identical twin, former astronaut Mark Kelly, who provides a unique way to study how space changes the body and mind. The twins were the same height a year ago, but now Scott is two inches taller. That change was expected and temporary: Earth’s gravity will soon pull Scott’s spine vertebrae back together.
Despite being back on Earth, Kelly’s mission will continue as NASA monitors him over the next year to see how he readjusts to life on Earth. NASA plans to send astronauts on the two-and-a-half year journey to Mars within two decades and hope Kelly’s experience will allow them to better understand the long-term effects of space travel.
International Space Station — a habitable artificial satellite orbiting the Earth and used as a research facility and science lab by a number of nations
NASA — the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research
Warm up questions (before watching the video)
- Who is Scott Kelly?
- How long was Kelly in space?
- What do you think it would be like to live in space for a year?
- Would you ever take a trip to outer space?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
- Do you consider Scott Kelly and other astronauts explorers? Why or why not?
- What do you think scientists will be able to learn about the long-term effects of space on the human mind and body from Kelly?
- What do you think Kelly meant when he said he has a “heightened sense of empathy” for Earth and the environment?
- Do you think space exploration is worth the cost given the number of problems here on Earth? Explain.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
In this lesson plan, students will watch and discuss three short STEM videos produced by NewsHour’s teen reporters. Continue reading
Use this NewsHour lesson plan to learn about Day 3 of the impeachment hearings. Continue reading
In this NewsHour lesson, find out about the testimonies of key witnesses in the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump. Continue reading
In this NewsHour lesson, find out about the first genetic genealogy case to go to trial — and how the science behind it solved a 32-year-old double murder. Continue reading
Use this NewsHour lesson plan to learn the latest on the impeachment inquiry, including why the House decided to hold public hearings. Continue reading