What Did This Cosmonaut Miss About Earth After a Year in Space?

Landing in Kazakhstan after spending almost an entire year orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko inhaled the air of the Steppes and said it was “possible to cut it with a knife and spread it on bread.”

What does it mean to long for home in the most extreme and profound way? As NASA, SpaceX, and other organizations set their sights on flying humans to Mars, they’re also looking to cosmonauts like Kornienko to learn about how his extended time spent in space has changed his body, and challenged him mentally.

Published October 14, 2016