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X-Plane Gallery with people


Welcome Home Scott Kelly! How Are Your Fingernails?

It’s a big day for space lovers today.

American astronaut Scott Kelly has returned home after 340 days aboard the International Space Station—the longest duration space experience yet for an American astronaut. He,along with cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko landed in Kazakhstan earlier today.

Kelly won’t get to truly celebrate a return to Earthly activities until both U.S. and Russian teams evaluate him from head to toe. He will undergo a battery of medical tests to determine if the pressure suit the Russians designed helped reduce the buildup of fluid in the upper bodies of Kelly and Kornienko  (we can thank gravity for a lot!), as well as how his vision, cardio vascular system and other critical functions were impacted.

All these aren’t new considerations for NASA. As they prepare for manned flights to Mars, among the chief concerns such as fuel and food is what happens to the body human? So the Cosmosphere Vice President of Education, Tracey Tomme, decided that would be a great question to pose to campers this summer.

Space Rx is a space medicine camp in which high school age students will consider authentic space travel medical issues—such as proper nutrition, exercise and the physical and psychological conditions researchers monitor during spaceflight. Campers will learn through personal interaction with doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians in a variety of specialties. They’ll consider questions unique to long duration spaceflight including whether astronauts lose their fingernails in space. Who wouldn’t want to know if that is a side effect of long term space travel!?

“Keeping astronauts physically and mentally healthy is critical to our ability to explore the deeper realms of space. And high school students who may be considering a medical career or who are interested in space exploration can use this opportunity to learn real lessons from real medical subject matter experts. This is the first summer camp of its kind in the nation and we’re excited to see how students respond.”

–Tracey Tomme, Cosmosphere VP of Education

If you know a student who is intrigued by that kind of summer adventure, connect our camp staff to find out more or visit cosmo.org.

And Scott Kelly and Mikahil Kornienko, we’d love to have you drop by and visit with our campers about your experience anytime! Welcome home to both of you and thank you for your service!

Learn more about Scott Kelly’s return and the Body After a Year in Space