Astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days aboard the International Space Station and when he came back to earth he was no longer the same as his identical twin brother Mark.
The 53-year-old American astronaut orbited our planet for almost a whole year so NASA scientists could compare him to his twin brother – who had stayed on earth, obviously.
Both brothers are astronauts and fortunately don’t have any siblings that I can find mentions of on the internet. Can you imagine how disappointed your parents would be if both of your brothers were astronauts? There’s no competing with that.
When Scott came back to earth NASA ran tests comparing the twins’ DNA and found that Mark and Scott were now genetically different after the space stint.
More impressively for the average non-scientist person Scott was also two inches taller than his identical brother.
If you’re thinking that this experiment is a bit harsh on the twins, literally using them as human guinea pigs, be reassured that NASA get up to all sorts of weird stuff in the name of science:
The eagle-eyed among you will have also noticed that Scott has also grown an impressive moustache. I was hoping this too was a side effect of space travel.
However, looking closer it seems more likely that this was to help journalists tell the brothers apart in photographs rather than a genetically superior spacetache.
Scientists are still studying to see how long space has changed Scott’s DNA, it is thought that some of the changes won’t last forever.
The findings could have big implications for long distance space travel for humans.
Looking at the two brothers side-by-side it also looks like Scott has been somewhat weathered by his year in space.
Scott has joked that space radiation may have actually aged him more than his earth-bound brother.
In this photo you can also see that his time nearer the stars has actually made him look less like 80s megastar Phil Collins – whom Mark could literally pass for without effort.
Seriously though, he looks exactly like Phil Collins, right? It might just be me.
Christopher Mason, a principal investigator on the NASA Twins study told Business Insider that the study had helped reveal that:
Thousands and thousands of genes change how they are turned on and turned off.
Personally I think they should be investigating the Phil Collins angle I’ve discovered as part of my own meticulous scientific study.
Although you shouldn’t take these studies at face value.
Who knows what NASA could discover next in the air tonight?