NASA’s Scott Kelly is arguably one of the most celebrated astronauts in America today. After successful missions in space in his 20 years with the space agency, the star astronaut is set to retire from public service on April 1.
After hitting the headlines after his successful 340 days space station mission a few weeks ago, Kelly has another breaking news for everyone and this time, it’s quite a bad news for many: he’s quitting from NASA for good. But the 52-year-old veteran astronaut said his time has come.
He told the Associated Press via the Phys.org that there’s always that right time for everyone, and his right time for him to leave have finally arrived. Just nine days after his successful mission to the space station with two other Russian cosmonauts, Kelly announced that he’s finally retiring. He currently holds the record for the longest space mission in the US.
After the effectivity of his retirement on April 1, he said he plans to pursue a lot of things that would keep him busy in the next years. He said he does not have a full-time job as of the moment, but there are several job offers for him. For more than two decades with NASA, Kelly had at least four successful space missions under his belt.
“I even told my bosses that I’d love to work as a part-timer. I would love to stay as involved with human spaceflight as I can. I’m a huge believer in it,” Kelly was quoted as saying by the Phys.org, adding that with the current arrangement, instead of receiving $70 per hour, NASA will only have to pay him $10 as a part-time employee.
Generally, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1986 in the United States abolished the mandatory retirement in most professions. However, certain professions, such as those that require top-notch precision and require high-level of cognitive ability, are not covered by the law. These professions include, but not limited to commercial pilots and military personnel, the Forbes reports.
Meanwhile, data from the US Office of the Personnel Management shows that there are three types of retirement, and voluntary type of retirement is one of which. It notes that this type of retirement can be availed by a federal servant based on length of service in the government and the personnel’s age, among other qualifications.