Famous Astronaut Twins Now Guinea Pigs In Space Experiment

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Scott and Mark Kelly Twin Astronaut
Astronauts and identical twins Scott and Mark Kelly are taking part in a multi-year study to see how long periods in space affect the human body.

Astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly are identical twins. But over the next year, their lives will be anything but similar. Scott, who's already been living at the International Space Station for several months, will spend the year in space. Mark -- who is the husband of former Sen. Gabrielle Giffords, of Arizona -- will remain on earth.

The Kelly twins are part of several experiments being conducted by scientists across the country to measure how long periods in space affect health. Researchers say because the Kelly twins have the same DNA and are both healthy and in good shape, they offer a perfect opportunity to zero in on how life in space affects various body functions. Scott's year-long residency at the Space Station will be longer than any other U.S. astronaut in history.

Susan Bailey, a professor in the Department of Radiation Health Sciences at Colorado State University, is one of the lead scientists doing research on the twins. She will look at how space affects aging and cancer. Bailey spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.