CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Astronaut Scott Kelly is back on Earth following an unprecedented yearlong mission in space for NASA.
Kelly and his Russian roommate for the past year, Mikhail Kornienko, landed in barren, frozen Kazakhstan on Wednesday. They checked out of the International Space Station three and a half hours earlier.
Their Soyuz capsule parachuted onto the central Asian steppes. Also returning to Earth: Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, who piloted the craft.
Kelly and Kornienko spent 340 consecutive days in space. They circled the world 5,440 times on a mission that began last March.
Russia continues to rule, however, when it comes to long-duration spaceflight with the world record of 438 days.
Scientists are hoping for more one-year subjects as NASA looks ahead to Mars trips.