Space Twins

Beginning a new year very often has a sense of eager anticipation, adventures in store, and a feeling of starting over. We’ve probably all had conversations or at least overheard them about new year’s resolutions and contemplated our own resolve for another year. But for veteran astronaut Scott Kelly, his 2019 began with a strange sense of grounded-ness because he had spent the 12 prior months in the weightlessness of space. Since he had a twin, Mark Kelly, who could be studied on the ground during the same period, the two of them had been recruited for a ground-breaking science experiment—studying the changes a human body experiences during an entire year in space. No human up to this point had gone through a whole 12 months in the International Space Station. The longest Scott Kelly had been on board before was 6 months, which was no small feat itself. But now, with plans for manned flight to Mars on the horizon, NASA decided to focus on studying how a human body responds to a long-term weightless existence. Even though Scott Kelly’s space year began in March 27 rather than January 1st, I can imagine that that 12 month period was one of the most memorable years of his life (Zuckerman). We may not be venturing into microgravity for a ground-breaking science experiment as we hail 2020, but we can step into the new year with the knowledge that each new cycle of 12 months is a new opportunity for personally ground-breaking growth with our Savior at our side. We can see this year as a precious gift from God, and an opportunity bright with hope. Hebrews 10:23-25 says it well when it says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Let’s keep our hopeful eyes on the future!

Zuckerman, Catherine. “One-of-a-kind study of astronaut twins hints at spaceflight’s health effects.” Science. National Geographic.11 April 2019. Accessed December 17, 2019. Online.