On March 1, 2016, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly return home after spending almost a year on the International Space Station. To be exact he was in space for 340 Earth days. On this adventure Scott Kelly broke the record for longest time an a American was in space.
The Twin Study
NASA’s goal is to send astronauts to Mars. In order to do that, NASA must have an understanding of long-term space flight. In order to do that a study was conducted on Scott Kelly and his brother Mark Kelly.
Scott Kelly was in space and Mark Kelly was on Earth. Until the study was completed in January 2017, after Scott’s arrival to back to Earth medical studies were done on him and his brother to see what long-term effects of exposure to microgravity has on a persons physique.
NASA’s Human Research Program Indicated Scott Kelly developed inflammation, changes in his telomeres and telomerase. A decrease in bone density and gastrointestinal changes.
On a genomic and cognitive level 93% of Scott Kelly’s genes return to normal well the other 7% remains altered. The genes that were altered were responsible for his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia.
Fortunately enough the only cognitive decrease that occurred was in a small decrease in speed and accuracy when taking a cognitive performance test compared to his brother.