The space geek me is so excited about this – I hope I live long enough to see us get far beyond the moon. What wonderfulness awaits us?
For the full article, please visit The Washington Post
When Astronaut Scott Kelly volunteered to spend a year in space, he asked NASA scientists whether they’d take advantage of the near-perfect copy he’d be leaving behind: His twin brother Mark, who retired from spaceflight in 2011 after four shuttle flights.
On Friday, a Soyuz rocket brings Russian Mikhail Kornienko and American Scott Kelly to the International Space Station for its longest expedition ever. The first and last time astronauts spent such a stretch in space was decades ago on the now-defunct Russian Mir space station. This time NASA is going in with its science guns fully loaded….
…..The applications in space travel are obvious: Man has never traveled farther than the moon, and NASA wants to take astronauts much, much farther. To do that, scientists have to ensure that the isolation, radiation and zero-gravity environment won’t send astronauts off the deep end after a year or two. For an astronaut like Scott Kelly, whose three missions have brought him closer and closer to his long-term stay — eight-and 12-day shuttle missions followed by a 159-day stay on the space station — the hope is that things will go smoothly.