Obama calls astronaut who spent year in space

President Obama on Wednesday phoned NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who returned to Earth on Tuesday after spending a record-breaking 340 days in space.

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Obama thanked Kelly for his service and said that his mission could provide critical research about what it will take to allow astronauts to make even longer journeys in space, according to the White House.

Kelly and two Russian cosmonauts landed late Tuesday in the Kazakhstan desert. The American astronaut, who spent nearly a year aboard the International Space Station, was seen pumping his fist after emerging from the Soyuz spacecraft.

His mission inspired a nationwide following; he tweeted dozens of stunning photos of Earth from space. 

Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, was set to greet Kelly in person upon his return to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.