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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly widens impact on space exploration

HOUSTON – Since NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned from space nearly three years ago, he has not stopped moving.  He said he circled the Earth 8,000 times during four space missions.  He said he has circled the Earth twice more during his travels on the ground.

What is Kelly up to these days?

"Wrote a few books.  Do a bunch of public speaking,” Kelly said.  He speaks to groups around the world.  He tells stories about his year in space aboard the International Space Station. 

What did you see and experience in space that changes how you live on Earth?

"You know, we've got a lot of issues in this country and around the world.  But I do think they're solvable if we are willing to work together,” Kelly said.  He learned that lesson while living aboard the most technically challenging project ever built.  It was built by international partners.  He also learned that how we treat our environment affects how it takes care of us.  He added, "From space, you can see how fragile our atmosphere looks.  And it makes you think that this is something that needs to be protected.  Because it protects us.  We can't live without it, clearly."

What is next for Kelly?

Kelly said he does not regret retiring.  He said it was the right time for him.  He said a retiring astronaut once told him that you only retire from the profession once.  For now, he will continue speaking, traveling and learning.  

He said, "You see that not everyone is like you.  People have different problems, different challenges in their lives, different things that are important to them.  And you know what?  Those things are just as important as what I might consider is important to me."

WATCH THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE: