Today’s Most Creative People: The Identical Twins Serving As NASA’s Guinea Pigs

Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly are participating in a year-long study to determine how long-term spaceflight impacts a human body.

Today’s Most Creative People: The Identical Twins Serving As NASA’s Guinea Pigs

What happens to our bodies if we spend an extended amount of time in space? That’s what NASA hopes to find out over the next year by studying two identical twin astronauts, one of which will remain on Earth while the other goes to space.

Mark Kelly, whose wife, former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in early 2011 at an Arizona political event, will stay on the ground, and his brother, Scott, heads to the International Space Station for a year. This is the longest spaceflight ever attempted by NASA.

“This is sort of our first foray into the genetic aspects of spaceflight,” John Charles, chief scientist with NASA’s human research program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, tells the New York Times.

Why do we need this kind of information? In the future, we plan to send humans on long space missions, like to Mars, and we’ll need to know what the trip will do to astronauts’ bodies.

Every year, Fast Company names its 100 Most Creative People, highlighting the global leaders in tech, design, media, music, movies, marketing, television, sports and more. The Kelly twins, and other thought leaders, will be considered for 2014’s list.

[Image: Flickr user ikewinski]

About the author

Jessica Hullinger is a London-based journalist who covers science, health, and innovation. She currently serves as a Senior Editor at



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