Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, left, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, right, pose for a photograph on the stairs leading into the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft during the final check of the … NASA/Bill Ingalls Advertisement On March 27, 2015, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko left Earth to join the crew at the International Space Station. Their mission was a bit different from most of the scientific studies aboard the ISS — they were to remain on board the station almost a year (340 days), with their return trip home to take place today, March 1, 2016, courtesy of the Soyuz spacecraft. Humans have been studying the effects of microgravity for decades, but only a few missions have subjected people to such a long exposure. And even though Kelly and Kornienko will have spent nearly a year up in orbit, they don’t come close to matching cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov’s 437 days in space aboard Mir. But this does mark the longest anyone has called the ISS home in one go. The mission is important. If we want to send people to distant locations like Mars, we need to have… Read full this story
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