Mission: One Year in Space
Spacecraft: Soyuz TMA-16M
Crew: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka
Launch Day / Time: 27 March 2015 at 19:42 UTC / 15:42 EDT
Launch site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Note: Crew members Kelly and Kornienko will be aboard the ISS until March 2016. The long duration is to study how the body reacts and adapts to life in space. The research is needed for future missions say to Mars and may have implications for helping patients here on Earth recovering from long terms of bed rest to helping those with poor immune systems.
Scott Kelly has a twin brother, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly who will participate in a number of comparative genetic studies.
There are seven key elements of research on the one-year mission. Functional studies will examine crew member performance during and after the 12-month span. Behavioral studies will monitor sleep patterns and exercise routines. Visual impairment will be studied by measuring changes in pressure inside the human skull. Metabolic investigations will examine the immune system and effects of stress. Physical performance will be monitored through exercise examinations. Researchers will also monitor microbial changes in the crew, as well as the human factors associated with how the crew interacts aboard the station.
NASA-TV coverage is scheduled to begin at 18:30 UTC / 14:30 EDT