Scott Kelly: Year in space paves the way for even longer missions

Astronaut Scott Kelly says that his epic year in space will help fuel longer-term space missions, paving the way for NASA’s ambitious plan send humans to Mars.

“I think that expanding our envelope and our ability to operate is something that will take us further from the planet,” he said, during an interview with NASA TV shortly after landing in Kazakhstan early Wednesday. “Developing technology to do so is very important for our economy and our way of life.”

“By going to Mars one day, we will make things better for us here on Earth,” he added.

NASA’s goal is to send a manned mission to Mars by 2035, prompting extensive research ahead of an epic roundtrip journey that could take 2½-years. Radiation poses a major challenge for Mars missions, along the durability of astronauts’ bodies and minds.

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