02:08 GMT09 July 2020
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    American astronaut Scott Kelly continued his record-breaking month on Thursday when the Expedition 45 Commander broke NASA's record of 215 consecutive days in space.

    Spanish-American astronaut Michael López-Alegría set the previous record in 2007.

    Kelly, who launched in March, is slated to spend a total of 342 days on the International Space Station before returning to Earth. NASA is hoping to learn on how long-term space travel affects the human body ahead of a potential mission to Mars.

    On October 16, Kelly passed Michael Fincke's record for most total days in space by a NASA astronaut, with 382. When the 51-year-old astronaut completes his latest mission, he will have spent a total of 522 days in space over four space flights.

    Kelly also completed the first spacewalk of his career on Wednesday, performing maintenance tasks on the ISS with fellow astronaut Kjell Lindgren.

    The record for longest consecutive spaceflight is held by Russian Valeri Polyakov, who spent nearly 438 days on the former Russian Mir space station. Gennady Padalka, also Russian, has spent a record 878 total days in space.

    Mars, space, International Space Station, NASA, Gennady Padalka, Kjell Lindgren, Scott Kelly
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