NASA astronaut Scott Kelly landed safely in Kazakhstan this evening, putting an end to his nearly year-long stay aboard the International Space Station. A Russian Soyuz capsule brought Kelly and two of his fellow Russia crew members home, a seven-hour-trip. Kelly has now concluded the spaceflight portion of NASA's One-Year Mission — an experiment to see how astronauts' bodies change during 340 days aboard the ISS.
The three astronauts will be greeted soon now that they've touched down in the Soyuz. Kelly and fellow One-Year Mission participant Mikhail Kornienko will undergo field tests to see how well the two astronauts are doing as they return to Earth. Living in microgravity for longer than six months can change the body's circulation and disturb a person's sense of balance, making it difficult to re-adjust to gravity again. Kelly and Kornienko have been using different tools in space in an attempt to attenuate these changes. During the field tests, NASA and Russia's Roscosmos will have the astronauts perform activities, like climbing ladders and standing from a sitting position, to see if these countermeasures worked.
Soon Kelly will be headed back to Houston, Texas, where he will continue to undergo testing for the One-Year Mission. Kelly collected many samples before and during his trip in space, to establish what effects space may have had on his body. Researchers will continue to take Kelly's samples for up to a year to see how his body readjusts to Earth.