The Buffalo News: Ex-astronaut offers outlook full of hope

Mark Kelly orbited Earth 854 times. He flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm and has helped his wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, through a grueling recovery after an assassination attempt near Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people.


But it was a spinal tap that had Kelly sounding a bit uneasy last week.


“They just did one on my brother,” Kelly told me by phone, “and the researchers that were doing the spinal tap on him, they really want to do one on me. I think they’re hesitant to ask, but I told them it would be OK to ask.”


“I’ll probably even do it,” he added with a hint of humor. “I’m probably not going to like it.”


Kelly and his identical twin, Scott, ignited a new wave of excitement over America’s astronauts this month when Scott Kelly returned to Earth after nearly a year aboard the International Space Station. NASA is studying the twins to determine what effects living in space has on the body.


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