Houston, He’s Home: Astronaut Scott Kelly Returns To Earth, Concluding A Year In Space | KERA News

Houston, He’s Home: Astronaut Scott Kelly Returns To Earth, Concluding A Year In Space

Mar 3, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Astronaut Scott Kelly grew two inches while in space; long live cursive writing; Euless mourns a fallen police officer; and more.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly lived abroad for about a year — 340 days on the International Space Station, to be exact. It was longest an American has ever lived in space, according to The Associated Press.


Before heading home to Houston, “Kelly said it was 'amazing' to feel the cold air when the hatch of his Soyuz capsule popped open after touchdown,” AP reported.  

One of the main goals for Kelly’s extended stay was to study how well humans can endure (mentally and physically) a long-duration spaceflight. NBC News reported: “One unique advantage he provides to NASA's doctors is his identical twin brother, Mark, a former NASA astronaut who spent last year with his feet planted on terra firma. Comparing the twins will help researchers spot any genetic changes that might have occurred in Scott in space.”

Kelly, who grew two inches while in space, said he “feels pretty good,” according to NBC. “Astronauts get a bit taller in space because of the disks of the spinal column: On Earth, the disks are slightly compressed due to gravity. In space, that compression is no longer present causing the disks to expand. The result: the spine lengthens, and the astronaut is taller.”

The journey isn’t over for Kelly, though. He’ll be recuperating and studying the after-effects of returning to gravity. For more, watch the PBS special “A Year In Space.”

[The Associated Press, NBC News]

  • John Wiley Price, longtime Dallas County Commissioner, still faces potential conviction for bribery and tax evasion. What happens if he’s convicted while in office? He’d face automatic removal, but it’s a bit more complicated. The Dallas Morning News reported:

“If Price were found guilty at trial and appealed, state law allows him to stay in office while the appeal is pending[...]If Price were removed from office at least 2 1/2 months before a general election, then voters would pick the next commissioner at that election. But if a general election came up sooner, voters would have to wait until the following election, two years later.”

And if the scenario plays out, there’s no legally required process for finding a replacement. Read more. [The Dallas Morning News]

  • President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will speak at SXSW in less than two weeks. This is the first time in the music, film and interactive conference’s 30-year history that a sitting President and the First Lady have participated, according to a news release. KUT reported: “The President will appear at Interactive in a Keynote Conversation with the Texas Tribune's Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith centered around technology, climate change and voter engagement on March 11. The First Lady will speak about the education initiative Let Girls Learn on March 16 at SXSW Music.” [SXSW, KUT]
  • What are the advantages of cursive writing in the digital age? In Texas, cursive writing is taught in third grade, and by fourth grade, students are expected to write legibly either in cursive or block letters. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reported: “By high school or college, teachers say some students can’t even sign their name.” Some teachers are worried students aren’t getting the benefits from cursive writing, like faster note-taking, more focused content and sharper memory. Read more. [KERA News]
  • Euless residents are mourning the loss of David Hofer, a 29-year-old police officer. Hofer responded to a report of a suspicious person and possible shots fired around 2:47 p.m. Tuesday in J.A. Carr Park, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Hofer approached the armed suspect, opened fire and hit the young officer. The gunman was killed by multiple shots from other Euless police officers at the scene, and Hofer was taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Grapevine, where he died in surgery. Read more. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]