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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What A Year In Space Does To The Human Body

International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. shows a victory sign after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft landed with Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos. Kelly and Kornienko are completing an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov is returning after six months on the station. (Krill Kudryavtsev/Pool photo via AP)

International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. shows a victory sign after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (Krill Kudryavtsev/AP)

After 340 consecutive days in space, Commander Scott Kelly’s return to normal activity on Earth will be gradual. Life in space takes a toll on the human body, changing a person’s eyesight, affecting memory and motor control.

A major part of Kelly’sĀ mission is to help NASA get a betterĀ understanding of those changes so that it may find out what future astronauts might experience on the long journey to Mars. Scientists will also look for genetic changes; an experiment made possible by Kelly’s twin brother Mark, who may be used as a control subject.

Sharon Begley of STAT speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about what NASA hopes to learn.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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