August 31, 2010 — Sometimes you just can’t escape from your siblings, no matter how far away you go.
So it’s a good thing that Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly are excited to be together, as the two NASA astronauts are scheduled next year to become the first twins to rendezvous in space.
Mark will command the last scheduled space shuttle flight, while Scott will be in command of the International Space Station.
NASA TV is airing an interview with the twins at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. EDT Friday. Click here for additional air times and streaming video.
"It's something that I think we both consider would be really neat if it happened, but having the privilege of flying in space, without flying together is just an incredible opportunity and I always thought it'd be great if it happened," Scott says in the interview.
Mark adds: “It's going to be a lot of fun, but these missions are really complicated. All of us have to work together.”
Scott and Mark are also sharing their experiences via their respective Twitter accounts. Click to follow Mark or Scott.
The Kellys, both captains in the U.S. Navy, were born February 21, 1964, in Orange, New Jersey. Scott has flown on two prior shuttle missions, as pilot of STS-103 in 1999 and commander of STS-118 in 2007. Mark is a veteran of three prior shuttle missions, as pilot of STS-108 in 2001 and STS-121 in 2006, and commander of STS-124 in 2008.
Scott is scheduled to launch to the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 7 for a six-month-long mission aboard the complex. He will serve as flight engineer for Expedition 25 and commander for Expedition 26.
Mark, commander of shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission, is scheduled to visit the station in February to deliver supplies and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The device will study the universe's origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter, and strange matter, and by measuring cosmic rays. If the launch schedule doesn't change, the pair would be working together in orbit for eight days before the shuttle undocks and returns to Earth.
Astronauts Mark Kelly, right, and Scott Kelly are pictured in the checkout facility at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Photo Credit: NASA
Expedition 25 Flight Engineer and Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly participates in an Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit fit check in the Crew Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Photo Credit: NASA
STS-134 Commander Mark Kelly is pictured during a water survival training session in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Photo Credit: NASA