With more than 383 days in orbit, astronaut Scott Kelly has now spent more time off the planet than any other American. And he'll build on that record until he heads back to Earth next March after completing his year in space aboard the International Space Station.
While he's up there, Kelly—the twin brother Tucson's own Mark Kelly, a former astronaut himself and the wife of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords—has been busy posting stunningly beautiful photos on his Twitter feed
. Gizmodo rounds up the latest batch, mostly over the Sahara Desert.
Kelly is doing a year-long experiment on the impacts of spending a full year in space. NASA put together a video commemorating his record-breaking moment last week:
Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait hopes that Kelly's accomplishment becomes more commonplace:
I imagine—and I certainly hope—we’ll be seeing a lot of these records broken very soon. If things go well, in a decade or so putting humans into space will be more common. Never routine—this is a difficult and dangerous operation, be assured.
But common? With China setting to go to the Moon, India making excellent progress in space travel, and commercial companies advancing as well, I see a time not too long in the future where the ideas in books I read as a kid about exploring other worlds can be described as science, without the modifier of “fiction.”