NASA astronaut Scott Kelly isn't just flying an epic one-year mission in space. He's doing it with a sense of humor. Case in point: this hilarious ape escape video shot on the International Space Station.
In the video, an astronaut in a gorilla suit chases a crewmate around Benny Hill-style at super fast speed. And of course, everyone is floating in weightlessness, which only adds to the hilarity.
"Needed a little humor to lighten up a #YearInSpace," Kelly wrote in a Twitter and Facebook post today (Feb. 23). "Go big, or go home. I think I'll do both. #SpaceApe." [Fun in Zero-G: Awesome Weightless Photos]
Now aside from who's wearing the gorilla suit (it's obviously Kelly), the biggest question on our mind is this: Who packs a gorilla suit for a space mission? Thank you, whoever you are. (Again, maybe Kelly?)
Scott Kelly will return to Earth on March 1 after nearly a year in space. He launched to the space station in March 2014 and has been joined on his extra-long flight by Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko as part of an international experiment to study how the human body changes during an ultra-long spaceflight. While Russian cosmonauts did fly yearlong missions on the Mir space station, the voyage by Kelly and Kornienko is the first to study the effects of such a long spaceflight on a genetic level. Scientists have been studying Kelly and his identical twin brother Mark Kelly (also a former NASA astronaut) on Earth to see how prolonged spaceflight changes the human body.
Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth alongside cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, who is wrapping up a six-month mission on the space station. Meanwhile, NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and British astronaut Tim Peake of the European Space Agency will remain behind on the space station to complete their half-year trip.
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.