Scott Kelly is enjoying his first week back on planet Earth after spending 340 days in space. Naturally, people are curious about how he's doing. On Friday, the NASA astronaut held his first press conference since he's been back, answering questions about readjusting to gravity, staying healthy, and lining up the future of his career
We’ve curated the seven most fascinating bits for your enjoyment:
He's feeling more pronounced health effects than his last spaceflight
Kelly had already flown a total of 180 days in space prior to his year on the International Space Station. He had a good idea of the types of health changes he'd experience this time around. But Kelly said the effects of this space trip are much more pronounced than his previous missions. "My level of muscle soreness and fatigue is a lot higher than it was last time," he told reporters.
"My level of muscle soreness and fatigue is a lot higher."
Kelly also said his skin is hypersensitive to touch, since he didn't have much physical contact for a year. He said it's like a "burning sensation" whenever objects press against his skin.
The first thing he ate when he got back was a banana
He really digs HoloLens
One HoloLens blew up along with a SpaceX rocket last year, but once Kelly finally got Microsoft's augmented reality headset, he was "really surprised" by what it could do. He didn't just have fun shooting down aliens — he also found it was "a capability we could use right now." That's because it let Mission Control highlight things directly in Kelly's field of view during tasks, leaving his hands free and making it easier to cope with the micro-gravity of space.
His social media presence brought him closer to his girlfriend
Kelly is known for being a prolific social media user, posting multiple space photos a day to his Twitter and Facebook pages. He said he had a lot of help with his internet presence from his girlfriend, Amiko Kauderer, a NASA public affairs officer. Working on his various tweets gave the couple an extra project they could share together. "She did an outstanding job. It was a partnership," he said.
He hasn't had much time off since he's been back
He immediately went through a number of medical tests
As soon as Kelly landed in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, he immediately went through a number of medical tests to see how he had adjusted to Earth's gravity. He then boarded a plane that made a stop in Norway, where he did even more medical tests. Another plane got him to Houston at 1AM, but before he could go home, he had to do... yep, more medical tests.
Those tests wrapped up at 4AM, allowing him to go home and jump in his pool for a few minutes. But Kelly was back at work just six hours later for another round of tests. Now, there's only six months' to a year's worth of medical tests left to do.
When he landed, Kelly asked about the Super Tuesday results
It may be best if he doesn't concern himself with politics right now.
His basketball game is a little off
Kelly said he's having some difficulty adjusting to Earth's gravity again, especially when it comes to throwing objects. He said he tried to shoot some baskets yesterday, but none of the balls made it into the net. "Throwing things, you tend to underestimate the effects of gravity," he said.
He's definitely not done with space travel
Currently, Kelly has spent a total of 520 days in space, but he said he's not opposed to adding to that number. Kelly said he's doubtful he'll fly with NASA again, since there are many other astronauts who are also qualified to fly. But he said it's possible he may join up with a commercial spaceflight company in the future. "Maybe in the next 20 years, you can buy a cheap ticket and go for a little visit," he said.