Astronaut Scott Kelly, who just returned from a year-long mission in space, is retiring from NASA, the space agency announced Friday.
“This year-in-space mission was a profound challenge for all involved, and it gave me a unique perspective and a lot of time to reflect on what my next step should be on our continued journey to help further our capabilities in space and on earth,” Kelly said. “My career with the Navy and NASA gave me an incredible chance to showcase public service to which I am dedicated, and what we can accomplish on the big challenges of our day.
“I am humbled and excited by new opportunities for me to support and share the amazing work NASA is doing to help us travel farther into the solar system and work with the next generation of science and technology leaders.”
Kelly will continue to help NASA with ongoing research related to his one-year mission, NASA officials said, including providing medical samples and other testing that will help NASA understand the long-term effects of time in space.
Kelly holds the American record for most cumulative time spent in space at 520 days.
“Scott’s contributions to NASA are too many to name,” said Brian Kelly, director of flight operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. ” In his year aboard the space station … (he helped) us pave the way to putting humans on Mars and benefiting life on Earth. … We appreciate his years of service and anticipate many benefits to come from them.”