The world’s only twin astronauts will take center stage in an upcoming NASA experiment that will analyze whether or not identical siblings remain the same biologically if one travels to outer space while the other remains on Earth.
According to the US space agency, astronaut Scott Kelly will be participating in a one-year mission to the International Space Station starting in March 2015. His mission is designed to analyze the impact of long-term space flight on the human body – but there’s more to it than that.
Like his twin brother Scott, Mark Kelly was also an astronaut before he retired. While Scott Kelly spends 12 months orbiting the Earth at speeds of approximately 17,000mph, his brother will remain with his feet firmly planted on terra firma. Basically, Scott with serve as a test subject, while Mark will stay behind as a control.
“We will be taking samples and making measurements of the twins before, during, and after the one-year mission,” Craig Kundrot of the NASA Human Research Program at Johnson Space Center explained in a statement. “For the first time, we’ll be able two individuals who are genetically identical.”