US astronauts testify from Space Station

December 2, 2015 byMary Clare Jalonick
US astronauts testify from Space Station
People watch on a video screen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, as astronauts Scott Kelly, left, and Kjell Lindgren testify from the International Space Station before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Testifying from space, Kelly said it has been helpful to be able to grow things in the International Space Station, where he is stationed for a full year. In August, the astronauts in the station ate red romaine lettuce they grew there. Kelly says they are now growing flowers. (AP Photo/Mary Clare Jalonick)

On his 249th consecutive day in space, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly told Congress that what he misses most is his friends and family on Earth and the chance to experience nature.

Testifying from space before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Wednesday, Kelly said it has been helpful to be able to grow things in the International Space Station, where he is stationed for a full year. In August, the astronauts in the station ate red romaine lettuce they grew there. Kelly says they are now growing flowers.

"There's the nutritional aspect of it, but also there's the psychological aspect about having something else green up here that's living, that we can take care of, that we can see grow," Kelly told the committee.

Kelly and fellow astronaut Kjell Lindgren testified for 20 minutes before the panel via on Wednesday. Members asked them about , their relationship with the Russian cosmonauts accompanying them on their mission and even their dental health.

The two astronauts talked about their current mission in terms of preparing for an eventual trip to Mars. Kelly said he thinks it's doable but it rests on support from the government, including Congress.

"It's expensive and we have different priorities," Kelly said. "But I think it's a trip that is worth the investment

US astronauts testify from Space Station
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. expresses his frustration with the Republican leadership during a news conference following a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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