American astronaut Scott Kelly refused the medal “For Merit in Space Exploration”, which was presented to him by President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011. He announced this on his Twitter microblog, leaving the next post:
“Medvedev, I am returning to you the Russian medal “For Merit in Space Exploration,” which you presented to me. Please give it to a Russian mother whose son died in this unjust war. I will mail the medal to the Russian embassy in Washington. Good luck.”
Scott Kelly was enlisted in the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1996. In total, he made four flights into space. The last one lasted 340 days. The purpose of the mission was to study the reaction of the human body to a long stay in deep space. The main difference between this expedition and similar experiments is that Scott Kelly has a twin brother, Mark, who is also an astronaut (he was on Earth during his brother’s flight). After Scott Kelly’s return, scientists carefully compared the state of the brothers’ body, which allowed them to collect unique data about the long-term effects of spaceflight.
Scott Kelly speaks Russian fluently. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, he began to sharply criticize the Russian government and the state corporation Roscosmos. After Dmitry Rogozin blacklisted Kelly’s account, the astronaut replied to him with the following message: “So, Dimon, you don’t like hearing the truth?”.