Adjusting to space is easier than adjusting to Earth for me.
The calluses on your feet in space will eventually fall off. So, the bottoms of your feet become very soft like newborn baby feet. But the top of my feet develop rough alligator skin because I use the top of my feet to get around here on space station when using foot rails.
A lot of the data we collect is stuff that has to be analyzed on the ground. For instance, we can't see, you know, bone loss. Our cells, you know, that's something that we'll have to notice with imaging technology when I get back.
Leaving the space station was bittersweet - I had been there for a long time and looked forward to leaving, but it is a remarkable place.
There are definitely parts of Asia, Central America that when you look at them from space, you're always looking through a haze of pollution. As far as the atmosphere is concerned, and being able to see the surface, you know, I would say definitely those areas that I mentioned look kind of sick.
If we're going to go farther from Earth, to Mars or somewhere else someday, we have to have a good understanding of the psychological impact on people. And not only psychologically, but how it affects their cognition. We're doing a lot of research on my cognitive abilities.
We do a lot of science on the space station. Over the course of the year, there'll be 400 to 500 different investigations in all different kinds of disciplines. Some are related to improving life on earth in material science, physics, combustion science, earth sciences, medicine.
Something people don't recognize is that being on the space station is probably a lot like being in some kind of confinement - like isolation.
It's an international space station. We have crew members from both the U.S. and Russia and now the United Kingdom with Tim Peake from the U.K... It's great to see that, on this space station, that we can work across cultures in a very cooperative way.
I'm actually thinking about maybe, on a spacewalk, not wearing my glasses. I normally wear those both for reading and a little bit of a distance correction, but the distance vision seems like it's gotten a little bit better. So I might go without.
If you go on a journey to Mars and get into deep space, there is several hundred times, maybe 300 times the radiation.
People do really well on space missions, but it's the physiological, the medical stuff, the stuff like radiation, loss of bone mass and muscle mass and density. It's those things that we need to figure out.
This is a really big space station. We do a lot of various kinds of work here, different kinds of science experiments; we have over 400 different experiments going on at any one time in different areas, from basic science research to medical technology, that hopefully will benefit more people on Earth.
I feel more like an environmentalist since I've been up here. There are parts of the Earth that are covered with pollution all the time. I saw weather that was unexpected. Storms bigger than we've seen in the past. This is a human effect. This is not a natural phenomenon.
The Earth is a beautiful planet. The space station is a great vantage point to observe it and share our planet in pictures. It makes you more of an environmentalist.
The space station here is a magical place and an incredible science facility.
I personally think going to Mars, if it takes two years or two and a half years, that's doable. Certainly, the first people who go there, that's going to be a big motivator, being first getting to Mars.
I've flown in space four times now, so it's going to be hard in that respect, but I certainly look forward to going back to Earth. I've been up here for a really long time and sometimes, when I think about it, I feel like I've lived my whole life up here.
A year is a long time to live without the human contact of loved ones, fresh air, and gravity, to name a few.
I believe in exploration, and I will miss being on the front lines of that endeavor. On one hand, I look forward to going home, but it's something that's been a big part of my life, and I'm going to miss it.