Scott Kelly says he suffered stress in space

Image: Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly peers out one of the International Space Station’s windows. (Credit: NASA)

During his year in space, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly said he could do another year if he had to. But now that Kelly has returned to Earth and retired from NASA, he says the experience took an emotional and physical toll.

The down side of long-term stints on the International Space Station came up today when Alfred A. Knopf announced it would be publishing Kelly’s memoir, titled “Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars.”

The announcement included a telling quote from the 52-year-old spaceflier:

“During my time in orbit, I lost bone mass, my muscles atrophied, and my blood redistributed itself in my body, which strained my heart. Every day, I was exposed to 10 times the radiation of a person on Earth, which will increase my risk of a fatal cancer for the rest of my life. Not to mention the psychological stress, which is harder to quantify and perhaps as damaging.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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