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U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly returns to earth following a year in space

HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to earth after spending almost a year in space.

Their extended stay was part of an effort to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight of the body. Scientists will gain further insights by comparing Scott Kelly with his earthbound identical twin, Mark.

Scott Kelly and Kornienko will have spent 340 days on the space station.

The mission is a record for the International Space Station(ISS) and will give Commander Kelly a tally of 520 cumulative days in space, over 4 flights.

Commander Kelly will also bring back rocket seeds that were taken up to the orbiting outpost by U.K. astronaut Tim Peake in December. They will be distributed to schools to allow children to compare their growth with rocket plants that have stayed on earth.

During their year in space, Kelly and Kornienko orbited earth more than 5,000 times traveling a total of 1,846,525 miles, according to NASA.