And after nearly a year sharing pictures of breathtaking views and high-tech equipment, Kelly did something Wednesday that showed he's just like anyone else with a smartphone and a social media account.

Scott Kelly said a few words at the ceremony as well, thanking the people who have worked with him on the one-year mission and, like Holdren, affirming the need for NASA, the United States and the world to keep pushing out into space.

His identical twin, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and their father were next in line to greet him. However, the change is only temporary.

"I was excited to welcome Scott home and back to American soil after his year aboard the International Space Station". Kelly's family was there to welcome him back along with top NASA officials, his twin brother, and the wife of Vice President Joe Biden. Both Kelly brothers served as guinea pigs for an eventual Mars mission, one in space and one on the ground. "Follow me as I rediscover #Earth!".

Since his journey back to earth started, the cosmonaut has been reacquainting himself to life on earth. There must be. As I said from the launchpad before we lifted off for the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2011, it is in the DNA of our great country to explore.

Scientists first learned about spinal elongation in space from the Skylab mission, where they studied six astronauts - all of whom "grew" by 3 percent. It was all part of an extended study into how the human body reacts to space and microgravity over a long period of time. Your earthling body isn't quite used to growing and living up in a space station, and it has to adapt to cope with its suddenly majorly different environment.

Their Soyuz capsule parachuted on to the central Asian steppes and ended a science-rich mission at the International Space Station that began last March and was deemed a stepping stone to Mars.

Kelly and Kornienko were due to split up later today.

"[We]have been up here for a really, really long time...A year now seems longer than I thought it would be."


While in space, astronauts often have a puffy face and the legs that are smaller in circumference.