WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Results from NASA’s landmark Twins Study, which took place from 2015-2016, were published Thursday in Science. The integrated paper — encompassing work from 10 research teams — reveals some interesting, surprising and reassuring data about how one human body adapted to — and recovered from — the extreme environment of space.
The Twins Study provides the first integrated biomolecular view into how the human body responds to the spaceflight environment, and serves as a genomic stepping stone to better understand how to maintain crew health during human expeditions to the Moon and Mars.
Editor’s note: NASA issued the following statement updating this article on March 15, 2018:
Mark and Scott Kelly are still identical twins; Scott’s DNA did not fundamentally change. What researchers did observe are changes in gene expression, which is how your body reacts to your environment. This likely is within the range for humans under stress, such as mountain climbing or SCUBA diving.
Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly with Margaret Lazarus Dean Alfred A. Knoff 2017 369 pages
Scott Kelly was failing out of college when he spotted a book at the campus store that would utterly change his life: The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe’s classic tale of Cold War-era test pilots and the Mercury astronauts.
As he read Wolfe’s prose, Kelly realized that flying jets had the same type of adrenaline rush he felt working as an EMT, which had been the only thing he had excelled at thus far. He decided he would pursue a career as an U.S. Navy aviator.
Decades later, he would call Wolfe in the midst of a year-long stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to thank him and ask for advice about how to write a book of his own.
Endurance is the result. The memoir doesn’t live up to Wolfe’s stylistic brilliance, but what the book lacks in style it more than makes up for in inspiration. (more…)
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The Twin Study propelled NASA into the genomics era of space travel. It was a ground-breaking study comparing what happened to astronaut Scott Kelly, in space, to his identical twin brother, Mark, who remained on Earth. The perfect nature versus nurture study was born.
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — It begins with one instrument. Then another joins in. Before you know it a grand symphony is playing before your eyes. NASA Twins Study researchers are eager to integrate their results and create a symphony of science.
Preliminary findings were discussed during the Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop in January, and now enthusiasm abounds as the integration process begins. The investigators are a unique group of researchers with different expertise associated with genetic and physiological areas of study. (more…)
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Preliminary research results for the NASA Twins Study debuted at NASA’s Human Research Program’s annual Investigators’ Workshop in Galveston, Texas the week of January 23. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned home last March after nearly one year in space living on the International Space Station. His identical twin brother, Mark, remained on Earth.
Today, astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly are visiting the White House to talk to the President about developing innovative new space technologies. One critical area for technology development is making satellites more affordable, adaptable, and adept at providing the sorts of real-time information that will help advance knowledge out in space and on Earth.
Supersonic jetliner developer Boom has an impressive leadership team that includes veterans of Gulfstream, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Scaled Composites and other companies. The programs they have worked on include the 787, SpaceShipTwo, F-35 and and X-47A.
The company’s advisory board includes two former officials from Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works and former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly.
Brief biographies of the leadership team and advisory board members taken from Boom’s website follow.
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut and one-year crew member Scott Kelly will retire from the agency, effective April 1. Kelly joined the astronaut corps in 1996 and currently holds the American record for most time spent in space.
“2014 will be a fun ride. We welcome you to get onboard, strap in and hold on!” Stu Witt CEO & General Manager Mojave Air and Space Port Jan. 9, 2014
Stu Witt had a lot of reasons to be optimistic as 2014 began. The Mojave spaceport was on a roll. On Jan. 10, Scaled Composites conducted the third powered flight of SpaceShipTwo in less than 9 months. XCOR was making steady progress on the Lynx and a new hydrogen engine for ULA, Stratolaunch was busy building the world’s largest aircraft, and other tenants such as Masten and Firestar had successes over the past year.
On March 7, NASA announced the selection of 10 investigations for the study of identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly and, in doing so, launched human space life science research into a new era. Although NASA’s Human Research Program has been researching the effects of spaceflight on the human body for decades, these 10 investigations will provide NASA with broader insight into the subtle effects and changes that may occur in spaceflight as compared to Earth-based environments. NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) will jointly manage this ambitious new undertaking.
The annual Antelope Valley Board of Trade’s Business Outlook Conference — held on Friday at the Mojave Air and Space Port — featured addresses by Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides, Scaled Composites President Kevin Mickey, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, and spaceport CEO/General Manager Stu Witt.
Here are the highlights:
Whitesides promised a “fun announcement” next week of Virgin Galactic’s 700th and 701st customers. (fAny speculation out there among Parabolic Arc readers as to who they might be?)
Scaled Composites is now up to 540 employees in Mojave and is looking to hire an additional 70 workers this year
Whitesides said Scaled Composites recently transferred operational control of WhiteKnightTwo over to Virgin Galactic
A similar transfer of SpaceShipTwo will occur later this year after Scaled Composites completes the flight test program on it
Virgin Galactic is working hard to get its founder, Richard Branson, and his children to fly to space aboard SpaceShipTwo later this year
Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company are now up to about 300 employees
A billboard featuring former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly advertises the Antelope Valley Board of Trade’s Business Outlook Conference scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21. The billboard is near the entrance to the Mojave Air and Space Port, where the conference will be held at the Stuart O. Witt Event Center.