Identical twin astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly are getting ready to participate in a NASA study to see how long-term space travel affects the human body. The Kelly brothers are the only siblings who have both gone to space, but Scott Kelly will be going back to live on the International Space Station for a year, while Mark stays on Earth.
Identical twin astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly are getting ready to participate in a NASA study to see how long-term space travel affects the human body.
While Scott, the test subject spends one year circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, Mark will remain behind as a control. We will be taking samples and making measurements of the twins before, during and after the one year mission.
Officials from NASA are quoted as saying: “These pilot demonstration projects, the first of their kind, will be unique investigations into the genetic aspects of spaceflight. They will provide insight into future genetic investigations that can build on this study, but with a larger study population of unrelated astronauts.”
The experiment harks back to Einstein’s Twin Paradox, a thought experiment in which one twin rockets to the stars at high speed while the other stays home. According to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the traveling twin should return younger than his brother - strange but true. NASA’s study won’t test the flow of time. The space station will have to approach the speed of light for relativistic effects to kick in. Just about everything else is covered though.