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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Twin Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly to Visit Kingsbury Hall

In a couple of weeks, the Natural History Museum will host a discussion with Mark Kelly, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, NASA astronaut and engineer.

Mark Kelly, as well as his brother, Scott Kelly, will speak at Kingsbury Hall on Feb. 10 about their experiences as astronauts and the current twin study they are participating in with NASA. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $6 with a valid UCard.

Scott Kelly, currently on a one-year mission in the International Space Station, met with students from Glendale Middle School via satellite video. Colleen Mclaughlin, public programs manager for the museum, said the Q&A discussion was recorded and will be played in parts during the discussion with Mark Kelly.

Mark Kelly will answer questions about his 375 aircraft carrier landings, 39 combat missions and more than 50 days in space. Both will comment on the NASA twin study about how space affects the body and comparing Mark and Scott Kelly, who are twins.

“As NASA looks at longer missions and perhaps, in the future, a mission to Mars, this is information they can use to plan those future missions,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said hearing the brothers’ firsthand experiences is an experience few people will have.

“It’s a great opportunity to really think about the future of space exploration,” she said.

Tickets are selling fast, and McLaughlin is pleased with how much interest she’s seen. Part of it could be because of recent astronaut-themed books and movies, such as “The Martian,” said Patti Carpenter, public relations director.

This lecture will kick off the Natural History Museum of Utah 2016 Lecture Series, with the theme “21st Century Explorers.” Other speakers include biologist Phyllis Coley, toxinologist Zoltan Takacs and oceanographer David Gallo.

“We’ve got Mark and Scott Kelly talking about space, and then here on Earth we have the depths of the ocean that there is so much yet to discover and explore,” McLaughlin said. “We want people to walk away thinking that the 21st century is the age of discovery.”

Ticket sales go into paying the costs of bringing in famous individuals, but they are also sponsored by the R. Harold Burton Foundation, Cultural Vision Fund and other organizations. In the past, the museum has brought in such people as Robert Kennedy Jr., Louis Leakey and Thomas Friedman.

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