Seeing pollution over India, China from space shocks astronaut Scott Kelly 

Describing him as an American hero, Obama said a while back, Kelly completed what was the longest period of time that any US astronaut has ever spent in space -- almost a year.

By: PTI | Washington | Published: October 22, 2016 1:30 pm


NASA, NASA space flight, NASA Space research, NASA news, NASA space news, US astronaut Scott Kelly, Mark kelly, Latest news, World news, Internatioanl news US astronaut Scott Kelly (Source: NASA)

Astronaut Scott Kelly, who has the distinction of having spent a year in the space, has said that the level of pollution in China and India is shocking. “Seeing places like China and India, and the pollution that exists there almost all the time is quite shocking,” Kelly said in a brief media appearance with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House.

“There was one day last summer, the summer of 2015, when I was in space I saw the eastern side of China was perfectly clear. And I’d never seen that before in all of my time in space, and I’d spent well over a year in space, total, at that point,” he said.

“I could see all these cities that are – there’s like over 200 cities in that part of China, with over a million people. And it was at dusk, and I could just, for the very first time, I was able to see them, and it was quite shocking,” he added.

“I didn’t really understand it until the next day I heard that the Chinese government had turned off a lot of the coal-producing power plants, stopped the cars from running in that part of the country for this national holiday, and the sky had completely cleared,” Kelly said.

“So it’s interesting to see just how much of a negative impact we have on the environment, but also how quickly we can have a positive impact on it if we decide not to mention the atmosphere is very, very thin and scary-looking when you see it from space,” he said.

Describing him as an American hero, Obama said a while back, Kelly completed what was the longest period of time that any US astronaut has ever spent in space — almost a year.

“What made this so important was not just to break a record, it gave us an opportunity to learn how Scott, as an astronaut, is impacted by lengthy stay like that. And we’ve got somebody to compare him to — his twin brother Mark, also an astronaut,” he said.

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“So as a consequence, what we were able to learn is how does the body adapt, what kinds of physiological impacts –psychologically, from what I understand from Scott, he was pretty good. But all this allows us to start thinking about long-term manned space flight,” he said.

Obama said the next American goal is to get to Mars. “Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do technologically to figure out how to get there, what kinds of space crafts allows us to do that most effectively,” he said.

“But if we’re going to do a manned flight, then one of the keys is making sure that our astronauts who are going out into space for that long period of time are also then able to come back — what kinds of environments do we need to create for them, what are the biological sciences, and other elements that will allow for a successful mission,” he added.

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  1. K
    Kim Sharma
    Oct 22, 2016 at 11:28 am
    Pollution has increased in India in the last two years. Many minds, insutions, media, school syllabus, students, listeners to radio, viewers of TV news, artistes, have been polluted/corrupted by the dirtiest Indian govt ever. Its leaders say they are not corrupt: but they mouth only regressive comments; their lumpen followers online and offline spew insults, hatred; They claim to be yoga votaries, but their hearts and mind are overwhelmed by hatred. Such is the atmosphere in the country that both the right-wing groups (Hindu and Muslim) thrive and rally supporters by preaching hatred against each other. Both behave in ways that give their rival a motive to get into heinous acts. How come the satellites pick up the dirt spreading in India?
    1. M
      Oct 22, 2016 at 11:47 am
      Why he fails to see pollution of U.S.A., because highest pollution production is from U.S.A. If you make per capita pollution, then every citizen of U.S.A. is criminal of this pollution including this observer and his president.
      1. R
        Oct 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm
        What of kejru's odd-even? Was the "impact" visible from space?
        1. P
          Prof. P.
          Oct 22, 2016 at 4:16 pm
          By 2011-12, China overtook the US in polluting the atmosphere. Later, the press reported that a young mother filed a writ in a court of law, making Chinese government as respondent on the plea that her baby was born with deformities because of the enormous pollution in the area in China, where she lived. Kelly's presentation looks to be a test to an ordinary brain. It reminds this commentator of an English lesson led "Scientists' English", the text book then prescribed being "Twentieth Century Anthology" at graduate level. China said several things like closing down certain coal-burning thermal stations, phasing out old machinery in factories so as to save power, curtailing plastic, manufacturing and using electronic cars to reduce pollution. With these measures, may be, as learned commentators put it, the US overtook China in causing pollution during this intervening half decade. India is far behind in this respect.
          1. S
            Oct 22, 2016 at 9:17 am
            It is nothing but US propaa. The US is the biggest polluter in this world. It has only 5 percent of earth's potion but consumes 30 percent of earth's resources. It is a military and service industries based country. Everything that US people consume are manufactured in China and other developing countries so pollution is bound to be in those countries even when the direct polluter is US itself..
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