Yearlong spacemen embrace fresh, frigid air back on Earth

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Ah, there’s nothing like a blast of fresh, frigid air to welcome you back to the planet after nearly a year cooped up in space.

That’s the word from astronaut Scott Kelly, NASA’s space-endurance champ. Kelly returned to bitterly cold Kazakhstan on Wednesday, along with his roommate for the past year, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.

In a NASA interview before heading home to Houston, Kelly said it was “amazing” to feel the cold air when the hatch of his Soyuz capsule popped open after touchdown. Both he and Kornienko had longed to experience nature during their 340-day mission at the International Space Station. Kornienko called the fresh air “an unforgettable feeling.”

The two are undergoing a barrage of medical tests to help pave the way to Mars.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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