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Would A Trip to Space Change You?

KPIX 5 Morning Weather Anchor Roberta Gonzales answers the questions you never get to ask on-air.


How would you like to know what  effects Space would have on your body and your health WITHOUT actually going to Space? That's what NASA is gearing up for and it's pretty exciting and never been done before!

NASA has the unique opportunity to study the effects of nearly 365 days in space by monitoring twin astronauts, one who will be floating in Space while his brother remains terra firma on Earth. In a joint U.S.-Russian mission, Scott Kelly be joined aboard the International Space Station with cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. Scott's twin, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, is the one who will remain on Earth.

Over a course of a year, NASA will compare any genetic differences between the twins as part of a number of experiments throughout the mission. Scott and cosmonaut  Kornienko will launch for the International Space Station in March 27. They will return to Earth nearly 1 year later on March 18, 2016. I'm not sure I could spend a year in Space, but I am fascinated to see what condition the 50 year old Scott Kelly returns in, comparing his physical condition with his earthling twin brother. Will they both be able to pump as much iron? Will Scott be quieter than Mark? Will he be lighter on his feet while dancing? Will he be more sensitive to noise? I guess it all depends on how identical their conditioning was BEFORE Scott blasts off to the Great Unknown.

Alone in Space with someone you barely know for a duration of time is nothing new to Scott Kelly.  As part of  NASA's Human Research Program and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Scott has previously spent 540 days in space. Mark Kelly, the husband of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, has spent 54 days in low-Earth orbit over the course of four space shuttle missions.

The Research gathered on this one-year mission will provide valuable data NASA will use as they continue to develop their manned mission to Mars. That target date is sometime in the 2030s. That date sounds so far away, but in reality, a trip to Mars could be roughly 15 years away. And I for one am extremely grateful to a couple of twin brothers for making the research possible. We are 15 days until launch and I'm wondering, if you were in Space for one year, what would YOU miss the most? I look forward to hearing from you!


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