- ASTRONAUT -
Scott Kelly is a retired American astronaut who's served on four space flights in his career. His identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, is also a retired American astronaut, and together, they are the only siblings in history who've traveled to space.
Who Is Scott Kelly?
Born in 1964, Scott Kelly is a retired American astronaut, former military pilot, engineer and retired U.S. Navy Captain who's served on four space flights. For his first spaceflight, Kelly served as a pilot on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1999, followed by Expedition 26, 45, and 46, serving as commander for the last three. In his final expedition, Kelly achieved his biggest feat in his NASA career by spending a year aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from March 2015 to March 2016. Shortly after returning to Earth, he announced his retirement on April 1, 2016. Kelly has an identical twin brother, Mark, who is also a retired astronaut and is married to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Early Life and Education
Scott Kelly was born Scott Joseph Kelly on February 21, 1964 in Orange, New Jersey to Irish parents Richard and Patricia Kelly.
Although he was a self-admitted troublemaker in school who often fought with his twin brother, Scott finished high school in 1982. He then matriculated to the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College, receiving his four-year degree in electrical engineering in 1987 before finishing up his master's degree in aviation systems almost a decade later at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Scott and Mark Kelly's DNA
One of the goals of Kelly's year-long spaceflight (the mission was actually 11 months) was to test how space's extreme environment affects the human body and how to better prepare future astronauts on future missions.
When Kelly returned to Earth in March 2016, his genes were compared to that of his brother Mark. The initial findings showed that Kelly had a seven percent change in gene expression from Mark and that even six months later, those changes remained.
But that's not the entire story. According to Kelly, being in space for such a long time takes an immense physical toll on the body. Upon his return to Earth, Kelly told The Guardian he had to deal with "... stiffness, swelling of my legs, rashes where my skin hasn’t touched anything, nausea. In space you lose a significant amount of blood volume. You regain it when you get back very quickly, but what you don’t regain is the red blood cells you lost with it and that takes months to recover. That makes you feel fatigued. It’s a six- to eight-month recovery."
In 1989 Kelly became a Naval Aviator and completed his training at the Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, before being deployed overseas. He later became a test pilot, eventually logging in over 8,000 flight hours and working up to the rank of U.S. Navy Captain before retiring from active duty in 2012.
Clancy's comment: A high achiever, eh? However, he can have the space travel. Not for me.