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NASA announced that one of its astronauts will be the first American to take a one year trip to space.
Scott Kelly will be the astronaut that will spend one year in space to help NASA conduct an experiment about how the human body is influenced by space living conditions. Kelly will spend his time in space on the International Space Station starting March 27, 2015. The shuttle that will take Kelly to the ISS will launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Kelly told the press during a conference at UNESCO in Paris that this trip will be very important for him as much as it is for NASA and for the field of science. He also said that he is very excited about this trip and the fact that he will be given the opportunity to live and work on the International Space Station for one year.
Kelly will make a team with Mikhail Kornienko, a Russian cosmonaut, and they are considered to be friends and are expected to remain in good relations for the duration of the mission.
Kornienko said that they will not let anything come between them during this mission because what they will achieve during this one year trip to space is not about countries, politics or national borders and their mission will be a good example of how nations could join forces and work together.
The two astronauts are not new to space travel and they both flew to the ISS six months before. Kelly has spent a total of 180 days in space and Kornienko has a total of 176 days, according to NASA.
Kelly’s time in space will be a record for American astronauts that experienced space travel. Several Russian cosmonauts lived one year or more on the Mir Space Station in 1980’s and 1990’.
This experiment will take NASA one step closer to flying men to Mars. Scientists say that in order to fly to Mars, astronauts will have to spend at least one year in space. Information about how space travel affects astronauts both psychologically and physically would be obtained during this experiment.
Kelly is expected to aid NASA into 19 experiments on the ISS while Kornienko will help Roscosmos space agency from Russia with 14 experiments. The two will have to work on some of these investigations as a team while others will be individual to Roscosmos and NASA.
Image Source: Parmi les etoiles