Astronaut Scott Kelly has been aboard the International Space Station for 302 days, well on his way to completing a year in space that will end in March. Commander Kelly is part of a long-term experiment to test the effects of weightlessness on the human body. His twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, has stayed here on Earth during Scott’s time in space to serve as a control.
Scott Kelly recently participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session and fielded a number of questions from the ISS. Kelly talks about things ranging from a future mission to Mars to his favorite movie (it’s The Godfather). Here are some of the highlights:
Why do you always have your arms folded? “Your arms don’t hang by your side in space like they do on Earth because there is no gravity. It feels awkward to have them floating in front of me. It is just more comfortable to have them folded. I don’t even have them floating in my sleep, I put them in my sleeping bag.”
What accomplishment/goal, space related or not, do you still want to achieve? “I’d like to have some involvement and continue to work towards people going to Mars.”
What is the largest misconception about space/space travel that society holds on to? “I think a lot of people think that because we give the appearance that this is easy that it is easy. I don’t think people have an appreciation for the work that it takes to pull these missions off, like humans living on the space station continuously for 15 years. It is a huge army of hard working people to make it happen.”
Does the ISS have any particular smell? “Smells vary depending on what segment you are in. Sometimes it has an antiseptic smell. Sometimes it has an odor that smells like garbage. But the smell of space when you open the hatch smells like burning metal to me.”
What is your favorite part of Earth to see from space? “My favorite spot on Earth to see from space is probably the Bahamas. The brilliant and varied colors of the blue water and contrast from here is pretty spectacular.”
How’s the connectivity from up there? “Pretty good. I’m chatting with you from space now. So, I’d say good enough. It’s like dial-up, but sometimes it works better than other times.”
When sleeping, is your dream world mostly in zero-G? “My dreams are sometimes space dreams and sometimes Earth dreams. And they are crazy.”
Greeting from earth mr.scott straight outta compton whats up? [sic] “Straight outta space. I want to see that movie, that’s what’s up.”
You can check out the entire AMA here.