Astronaut - NASA
Astronauts roundtable : Can astronauts challenge time?
Selected by NASA in April 1996, Kelly reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Following completion of training, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems/Operations branch. Kelly has logged more than 520 days in space on four space flight, and currently holds the record for time in orbit by a U.S. Astronaut. He served as Space Shuttle pilot on STS-103 in 1999 and was the Mission Commander on STS-118 in 2007. Following STS-103, Kelly served as NASA’s Director of Operations in Star City, Russia. He served as a backup crewmember for Interanation Space Station (ISS) Expedition 5 and as the Astronaut Office Space Station Branch Chief. Kelly also served as a Flight Engineer for ISS Expedition 25 and as the Commander of ISS Expedition 26. In March 2015, Kelly launched for a one-year mission to the ISS, serving as a Flight Engineer for increments 43 and 44, and Commander for increments 45 and 46.
The countdown starts early. At the beginning of the selection to become an astronaut, or even as soon as the idea of making the trip out of the atmosphere crosses the mind of the candidate. Everything is then linked, step by step, success after success, until the ultimate consecration when the contender is part of the team, the one that brings together extraordinary human beings, ready to follow the training mission for an adventure into space. Many months of intensive preparation, with a meticulously planned program, still separate the future hero from the last seconds of the countdown. The astronaut has to keep making progress every day. A few hours before they take off, the crew are placed into quarantine. On the launching ramp, curled up in their seats, they will be propelled into space within the deadline imposed by the launching procedure. In less than nine minutes, they will travel at an orbital speed of 28,000 km / h and will pass around the Earth 16 times each day. The real mission has just begun. Whether it is to ensure proper operation of the instruments, to repair them, to carry out scientific experiments, to communicate with Earth, to interact with their teammates, to sleep, to eat, the astronauts evolve at a certain pace, a pace which is imposed upon them by the trials of space. Although they are very busy, the return to Earth, close to where their loved ones reside can sometimes seem so far away. At each stage, even during an extravehicular exit or the return trip to Earth: is it possible for astronauts to challenge time?