NASA and Roscosmos Successfully Launch Historic One Year Mission

posted: 03/27/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
EXP43 liftoff
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The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The One Year Mission, a joint expedition between NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos, successfully launched at 3:42 p.m. EST on Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Helmed by Astronaut Scott Kelly and Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, the mission is described by NASA as an important "stepping stone" to future Mars exploration missions.

Typical expeditions to the International Space Station last only six months; upon successful completion of this mission, Kelly will be the first American astronaut to spend one continuous year in space.

Expedition 43 astronauts
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Expedition 43 NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, left, and Russian Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, center, and Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency during pre-flight exercises.
NASA/Victor Zelentsov

Both space agencies will devote significant resources aboard the ISS to studying the long-term effects of spaceflight on the human body. NASA will specifically study the human body's reaction to extended weightlessness, isolation, radiation and stress.

Additionally, NASA will independently undertake the Twin Study, which will compare Scott Kelly's health aboard the ISS to that of his identical twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, on Earth.

Kelly and Kornienko were joined on the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft by Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who is also traveling to the ISS but is not part of the One Year Mission.


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