Watch NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Return to Earth After Spending One Year in Space
03/01/2016 AT 09:55 PM EST
Welcome home, Scott Kelly!
The NASA astronaut returned to Earth on Tuesday, after spending 340 days aboard the International Space Station.
Kelly, 52, boarded the Russian Soyuz space capsule along with Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, both who have been at the ISS since September 2015.
Kelly's brother Mark was among the first to congratulate the American astronaut. "My brother @StationCDRKelly is back home on our planet! Talk about aliens. He's been off the planet for a year," he tweeted.
The three space explorers landed in Kazakhstan around 11:30 p.m. EST. Kelly flew back to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where NASA doctors have been observing the health effects of Kelly's mission in space.
According to researchers, in the absence of gravity, bones can become more brittle, fluids in the body can move upward and vision can shift toward far-sightedness.
Kelly's journey home streamed live online at NASA TV and DirecTV. Coverage of the farewell began at approximately 4:15 p.m. ET with the undocking at 7:45 p.m. EST.
Before his 250 mile trek back to Earth, Kelly wrote his last tweet in space. "#Thanks for following our #YearInSpace," he tweeted. "The journey isn't over. Follow me as I rediscover #Earth! See you down below!"
"There are certain senses and things that seem like, wow that was so, so long ago," Kelly told TIME. "You definitely feel like you’re here and everyone else that’s important to you and everything that you care about and love is down there."