Astronaut Scott Kelly says goodbye to the ISS after a year

scot kelly space station goodbye iss
All good things must come to end, even in space. After spending 340 days aboard the International Space Station, American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are ready to complete their record-breaking Year in Space mission. Kelly and Kornienko are scheduled to depart the ISS on March 1 after handing over command of the space station to NASA astronaut Tim Kopra. The duo will return to Earth today on the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft along with Soyuz Commander Sergey Volkov.

Kelly and Kornienko’s time in space was notable both for its duration and for the scientific opportunities it offered. Both men were subjected to routine health testing and analysis to study the effects of long-term space travel on the body. Samples were taken before departure, during the mission, and will continue for more than a year after their return to Earth. Kelly also has a twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, who participated in a parallel twin study on Earth. This set of data provides an interesting comparison between Earth and space-based changes on human physiology.

Related: Scott Kelly answered questions on Tumblr, and the result was pretty hilarious

Data collected from the Year in Space study will be used to plan future long-term missions, such as the planned mission to Mars, which will of course require a lengthy journey to the red planet. To combat the effects of zero gravity, astronauts must exercise daily to offset the loss of bone mass (up to 1.5 percent monthly) that occurs in space. They also have to deal with fluid accumulation in the face due to the zero gravity living conditions, as well as exposure to cosmic radiation, which will be present in greater amounts during the mission to Mars.

Kelly and Kornienko’s  journey back home will be televised live on NASA TV with the final farewell and hatch closure scheduled for 4:15 pm ET. Undocking of the Soyuz spacecraft is slated for 7:45 pm with final de-orbit and landing planned for 10:34 pm and 11:27 pm, respectively.

Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Motorola flip phone, ads in space, smart umbrella

On this episode of Digital Trends Live we discussed trending headlines like foldable smartphones and advertising in space. We also sat down with Caleb Denison and Ronan Glon to talk about the world of tech post CES 2019.
Movies & TV

Netflix recruits Steve Carell for the Trump-inspired comedy ‘Space Force’

Steve Carell, Netflix, and The Office showrunner Greg Daniels are teaming up for Space Force, a workplace comedy poking fun at the Trump White House's plans to establish a sixth branch of the U.S. military.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Brightest quasar ever seen discovered by Hubble, may be star-producing machine

The brightest quasar even seen has been observed with the Hubble Space Telescope using a technique called strong gravitational lensing. The quasar is enormously energetic and may be producing thousands of stars per year.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.