Twin fools NASA at brother's launch on 1-year flight

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Twin fools NASA at brother's launch on 1-year flight
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 28: In this handout provided by NASA, The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is seen as it launches to the International Space Station with Expedition 43 NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) onboard Saturday, March 28, 2015, Kazakh time (March 27 Eastern time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 28: In this handout provided by NASA, The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is seen as it launches to the International Space Station with Expedition 43 NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) onboard Saturday, March 28, 2015, Kazakh time (March 27 Eastern time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
Russia's Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko blasts off from the launch pad at Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome early on March 28, 2015.  (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko blasts off from the launch pad at Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome early on March 28, 2015. (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 28: In this handout provided by NASA, The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is seen as it launches to the International Space Station with Expedition 43 NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) onboard Saturday, March 28, 2015, Kazakh time (March 27 Eastern time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 27: In this handout provided by NASA, Expedition 43 Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), top, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, center, and Russian Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos wave farewell as they board the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft ahead of their launch to the International Space Station on March 27, 2015 in Baikonor, Kazakhstan. As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
US astronaut Scott Kelly gestures as his space suit is tested at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome, prior to blasting off to the International Space Station (ISS), late on March 27, 2015. The international crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28. (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

(L-R) US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka wave after their space suits were tested at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome late on March 27, 2015. The international crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28.

(Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

From L: US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko take part in a sending-off ceremony in the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome late on March 27, 2015. The international crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28, Kazakh time. (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
US astronaut Scott Kelly waves from a bus during a sending-off ceremony in the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome late on March 27, 2015. The international crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28, Kazakh time. (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
US astronaut Scott Kelly (R) and his brother Mark pose after a press conference at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on March 26, 2015. Russia's Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28, Kazakh time.  (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 25: The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is raised into the vertical position shortly after arriving at the launch pad, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, and Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan March 28, Kazakh time (March 27 Eastern time.) As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. Photo Credit (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 25: The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, and Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan March 28, Kazakh time (March 27 Eastern time.) As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. Photo Credit (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is mounted on a launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on March 25, 2015. Russia's Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28, Kazakh time. (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
The sun rises over a launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on March 25, 2015. Russia's Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28, Kazakh time. (Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

Space Station Over Earth (NASA, International Space Station, 03/07/11)

photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr

Sun Over Earth (NASA, International Space Station Science, 11/22/09)

Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Astronaut Scott Kelly's identical twin pulled a fast one on NASA right before his brother blasted off on a one-year space station mission.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told Kelly on Monday that he almost had a heart attack when his brother showed up launch morning without his usual mustache late last week.

"He fooled all of us," Bolden said. Mark Kelly's mustache was "the only way I can tell you two apart."

Mark, a former space shuttle commander, was still clean shaven as of Monday afternoon, as he chatted with Bolden about the unprecedented medical experiments planned on the twins over the coming year. Doctors want to see how the space twin's body compares with his genetic double on the ground.

Scott Kelly arrived at the International Space Station on Friday night following a launch from Kazakhstan. He will remain on board until next March, as will Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.

It will be NASA's longest spaceflight ever.

"It's like coming to my old home," said Kelly, who spent five months at the space station in 2010-2011.

The White House, meanwhile, sent congratulations Monday.

President Barack Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, wished Kelly, Kornienko and the rest of the crew the best of luck and noted that the yearlong mission is an important milestone on the path to sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

"You guys are all heroes up there, and we're depending on you," Holdren said in a phone hookup.

Mark Kelly, meanwhile, paid tribute to the brothers' father, who stayed behind in Houston for last week's launch. Richard Kelly, a retired and widowed police officer, is the only parent to endure a child's rocket launch so many times - eight between the two.

"He's been a trouper," Mark said.

See more photos of Scott and Mark Kelly:

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