NASA astronaut Scott Kelly made headlines earlier this month after he returned from a year aboard the International Space Station, and Friday it was announced the astronaut plans to retire.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden issued a statement Friday regarding Kelly’s upcoming retirement, praising the astrounaut for the sacrifices he made to serve a year in space.
The full statement from Bolden is below. Click here for details from Kelly’s year in space.
“When the first Americans set foot on Mars, they will be following in the footsteps of one of the finest astronauts in the history of the space program, my friend, Commander Scott Kelly. After spending an American record 520 days in space – including his Year in Space – I can think of no one more deserving of some well-deserved rest and time on the same planet as his family and friends.
“All of us in the NASA family — and indeed in the broader scientific community — are grateful that he was willing to sacrifice time with his loved ones, meals that don’t come in a bag, a cold beer, hot showers, cool autumn breezes, the sounds of birds chirping, the ability to lay his head on an actual pillow and so much more of the pleasures of life during his year of research and experimentation the International Space Station.
“We will never forget the 700 stunning images he posted to social media, the leadership he demonstrated as ISS Commander for the last six months and, most of all, the impact that all his missions and years of service will continue to have on our Journey to Mars.”