Beyond a Year in Space

(Rochester, NY) – Beyond a Year in Space, the follow up to Emmy® Award-winning film A Year in Space, chronicles astronaut Scott Kelly’s return and adjustment to life on Earth after spending 12 months on the International Space Station (ISS), the longest space mission in American history. Exploring the effects of long-term space travel on the human body, the film also introduces the next generation of astronauts currently training to leave Earth’s orbit and travel into deep space. Beyond a Year in Space, which picks up the story with Scott Kelly’s last day in space and return to Earth, premieres Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV. It will be preceded by an encore broadcast of A Year in Space at 8 p.m. and followed by an encore broadcast of NOVA First Man in the Moon at 10 p.m.

Beyond a Year in Space follows Kelly’s homecoming and long-awaited reunion with his family in Texas after his record-breaking stay in space with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. The film also tracks the extensive medical testing undergone by Scott and his brother and fellow astronaut, Mark Kelly. As identical twins, the brothers presented NASA with the extraordinary opportunity of conducting experiments on two individuals who have the same genetic makeup but spent the year in vastly different environments. The data from the twins study will help NASA determine what it will take for humans to endure long-duration space travel in preparation for a mission to Mars, an unprecedented three-year journey.

Although Scott maintained a rigorous exercise program in space, the physical toll of the voyage is evident upon his return as he suffers from sore muscles, stiff joints, flu-like symptoms, skin sensitivity and inflammation. “Gravity definitely gives you a beat down when you get back,” he said. “My feet still bother me some — I didn’t walk on them for a year!”

Beyond a Year in Space introduces two new astronauts preparing to venture farther than humankind has ever gone: biologist Jessica Meir and former Navy pilot Victor Glover, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at how they are training to go the distance. While first-generation astronauts were mostly “top guns” chosen for their experience in flying untested vehicles, the new generation is a diverse team with a wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets. The film follows Meir and Glover at NASA and at home, exploring their lives as astronauts and as individuals as each expresses what it means to carry on the legacy of the astronauts who came before them.

Scott Kelly returns to earth after a year in space.
Credit: Courtesy of PBS

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