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Monday, November 26, 2012

Space Agencies Name One-Year ISS Crew

Astronaut Scott Kelly
The American and Russian space agencies have named an astronaut and cosmonaut to spend one-year at the International Space Station for the purpose of better understanding how the human body adapts to extremely long space missions, such as voyages around the moon, to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars, NASA officials said.
American astronaut Scott Kelly, 48, and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, 52, will launch on the one-year space station flight in spring 2015 and return to Earth in spring 2016, NASA officials announced Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. Crews so far have done only six-month stints on the station.
Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko
"Congratulations to Scott and Mikhail on their selection for this important mission," William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations in Washington, said in a statement. "Their skills and previous experience aboard the space station align with the mission's requirements. The one-year increment will expand the bounds of how we live and work in space and will increase our knowledge regarding the effects of microgravity on humans as we prepare for future missions beyond low-Earth orbit."

Cosmonaut Valery Polyakov
As noted by Managing Editor Tariq Malik, the 2015 space station flight by Kelly and Kornienko will be the longest mission to the International Space Station, but not the longest continuous spaceflight. That record is held by cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, who lived aboard Russia's Mir space station from January 1994 until March 1995, ultimately spending 438 consecutive days in orbit.

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