NASA Twins Study Confirms Preliminary Findings

Identical twins, Scott and Mark Kelly, are the subjects of NASA’s Twins Study. Scott (left) spent a year in space while Mark (right) stayed on Earth as a control subject. Researchers are looking at the effects of space travel on the human body. (Credits: NASA)

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.

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Review: Scott Kelly’s Memoir About a Year in Orbit

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

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.
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NASA Twins Study Confirms Preliminary Findings

Identical twins, Scott and Mark Kelly, are the subjects of NASA’s Twins Study. Scott (left) spent a year in space while Mark (right) stayed on Earth as a control subject. Researchers are looking at the effects of space travel on the human body. (Credits: NASA)

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.

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Symphonizing the Science: NASA Twins Study Team Begins Integrating Results

Identical twins, Scott and Mark Kelly, are the subjects of NASA’s Twins Study. Scott (left) spent a year in space while Mark (right) stayed on Earth as a control subject. Researchers are looking at the effects of space travel on the human body. (Credits: NASA)

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…)

First Look at Results from NASA Twin Study

Identical twins, Scott and Mark Kelly, are the subjects of NASA’s Twins Study. Scott (left) spent a year in space while Mark (right) stayed on Earth as a control subject. Researchers are looking at the effects of space travel on the human body. (Credits: NASA)

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.

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Harnessing the Small Satellite Revolution

Members of the NASA Ames Nodes Integration & Test team ready to integrate the Nodes 1 and 2 spacecraft (forefront) into the Nanoracks dispenser.(Credit: NASA)
Members of the NASA Ames Nodes Integration & Test team ready to integrate the Nodes 1 and 2 spacecraft (forefront) into the Nanoracks dispenser.(Credit: NASA)

by Steve Fetter and Tom Kalil
White House OSTP

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.

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Boom Boasts Impressive List of Personnel

Supersonic passenger jet (Credit: Boom)
Supersonic passenger jet (Credit: Boom)

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.

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NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly to Retire

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly performing checkouts for NASA’s Project Sidekick, which makes use of Microsoft’s HoloLens device. (Credit: NASA)
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly performing checkouts for NASA’s Project Sidekick, which makes use of Microsoft’s HoloLens device. (Credit: NASA)

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.

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2014 in Review: Mojave’s Difficult Year

Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)
Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)

“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.

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NASA Undertakes Twin Study for Long-Duration ISS Stay

Astronauts Mark Kelly (right), STS-124 commander, and Scott Kelly are pictured in the check-out facility at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center as the STS-124 crewmembers prepare for a flight to Kennedy Space Center in NASA T-38 trainer jets. (Credit: NASA)
Astronauts Mark Kelly (right), STS-124 commander, and Scott Kelly are pictured in the check-out facility at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center as the STS-124 crewmembers prepare for a flight to Kennedy Space Center in NASA T-38 trainer jets. (Credit:
NASA)

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.

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Virgin Galactic to Announce 700th Customer & Scaled Composites is Hiring

mojave_tower_sunset_smThe 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
  • Witt debuted a new promotional video for the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Business Outlook Conference Set for Friday in Mojave

Credit: Douglas Messier
Credit: Douglas Messier

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.

For more information and tickets, visit http://www.avbot.org/outlook-conference/

Whitesides, Mickey to Appear at Business Outlook Conference in Mojave

AV_BOT_2014_Conference_Poster
MOJAVE, Calif. (AVBOT PR) – Senior executives of two companies partnered in pioneering civilian space travel and new commercial space business will be among the speakers for the Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference at Southern California’s Mojave Air and Space Port.

The Antelope Valley Board of Trade, organizer of the annual day-long event, announced that George T. Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson, and Kevin Mickey, President of Scaled Composites, which won the X-Prize by being the first private company to carry passengers to space and back, have accepted invitations to appear on the program.

The two private sector aerospace leaders will address an audience of up to 800 at the conference, which also includes Astronaut Mark Kelly. Email vicki@avbot.org for ticket reservations.

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