Partners Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are finally going back to Earth today after spending a year aboard the aboard the International Space Station, making their mission a total of 340 consecutive days.
American astronaut Kelly turned over the command of the ISS to Tim Kopra, a fellow American astronaut. His partner Kornienko is a Russian cosmonaut.
Both Kelly and Kornienko have made a U.S. record for having spent the most consecutive days in space. They also made a record for NASA for having spent the longest stay by 125 days. The partners, during their stay, were able to share lodgings with 13 others.
Kelly and Korneinko have also served with eight different crewmates. Included in their achievements during their stay are unpacking six cargo ships, weathering two botched supply runs, and participating in dozens of science experiments.
Meanwhile, the overall duration record goes to Valeri Polyakov, after spending 437 days on the former Russian Mir space station in 1994 and 1995.
" NASA will release video of the hatch closure, as well as undocking and landing activities at 1:30 a.m. ET Wednesday. Kelly and Kornienko will be joined in the Soyuz space capsule by cosmonaut Sergey Volkov," CBC reports.
The data gathered by the partners during their time on the ISS will give agencies further information with regards to how space travel affects the body. The partners will also be able to provide further information on the kind of "physiological and psychological performance challenges astronauts face during long-duration missions."
On the side note, Kelly's identical twin brother Mark Kelly, is also an astronaut. Mark is serving as an experimental control. This will allow the researchers to analyze and compare how space changes a person with the same genetic makeup.
The brothers joined "joined forces to provide NASA with a potential gold mine of scientific data: one twin studied for a year in orbit - twice the usual space station stay - while his genetic double underwent similar tests on the ground."