How would you prepare to spend a year in space? NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, Expedition 25 flight engineer, is pictured in the Cupola of the International Space Station in 2010 (Reuters)
How would you prepare to spend a year in space?
Lexile

Would you want to go into space for 12 months? An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut are two months shy of doing just that.

They will be launching to the International Space Station for an entire year. Already, though, scientists say they should look for even more people to send to space for long periods.

Two people in space for a long time are not enough from a scientific perspective. That's according to NASA's space station program scientist, Julie Robinson. The space agency wants to collect data from Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko. Then firm decisions on further one-year missions can be made.

NASA is the American space agency. It's partnering with the agencies in Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. They are considering as many as 12 one-year test subjects for the space station. All but Russia are new to such long orbital hauls.

Kelly and Kornienko are space veterans. Each is in his 50s. They will rocket into orbit in late March from Kazakhstan. They will remain aboard the space station until the following March.

It will be the first time NASA sends someone into space for 12 months. Station stints typically last six months. The Russians are old pros at this. But there have been many medical and technological breakthroughs since Russia's yearlong missions from the 1980s and 1990s. So even more will be learned this time. The two sides will work together on many experiments.

NASA wants to learn how the body fares after a year in space. That's before it commits to more lengthy trips to Mars and elsewhere.

Right now, it's a big question mark. Just what happens beyond six months in orbit?

"What we don't know right now is what that six- to 12-month period looks like," Robinson said. "We're talking about it scientifically. But we're not really having deep discussions about it until we have the first information from the first two."

Kelly will provide an especially unique set of data. His bodily fluids and other measurements will be compared with those from his identical twin brother. Mark Kelly is a retired astronaut.

The U.S. space shuttle fleet was retired in 2011. Since then, Russian Soyuz spacecraft have served as the only means to ferry crews to and from the space station.

Critical thinking challenge: Why isn't NASA making any firm decisions about long-term stints in space?

Filed Under:  
Assigned 53 times


COMMENTS (18)
  • ShaylaWells-Hay
    2/04/2015 - 10:59 a.m.

    I would take a stuffed animal and my sister her name is Cheyenne and my mean brother named Tanez and

  • CooperG-Mau
    2/04/2015 - 11:24 a.m.

    What I would never spend year in space thats crazy. The only possible way you could get me in space for twelve months is if it was insalated and had plenty of food and water.

  • VictoriaT-Mau
    2/04/2015 - 11:41 a.m.

    DId this person go into space before or is this his first time going into space

  • NatalyL-Saw
    2/04/2015 - 01:42 p.m.

    I would not like to spend time in the moon because maybe you could get trap

    • JuliannaS-Saw
      2/25/2015 - 01:12 p.m.

      I wouldn't what to go in the moon too because you can get trapped if something is wrong with the spaceship or something.I wouldn't what to go up in outer space.

  • KeaganB-1
    2/05/2015 - 10:25 p.m.

    America and Russia are sending to people to space for one year, in two months this will happen. The two people will be sent to the international space station. NASA beleives we should send more people for a better perspective. Nasa is partnering with other countries space programs like Japan Russia Europe and Canada. The United states is sending Scott Kelley. Russia is sending Mikhail Kornienko. I think this article is very interesting and I hope we as a planet will start sending more people to space.

  • jr1999princess
    2/09/2015 - 01:01 p.m.

    NASA wasn't making any firm decisions about long-term stints in space because it's a long period of time and they don't want to make any firm decisions until they see what the first 1 or 2 months in space are.

  • tybreland
    2/09/2015 - 06:04 p.m.

    The two people will be sent to the international space station. NASA believes we should send more people for a better perspective. NASA is partnering with other countries space programs like Japan Russia Europe and Canada. The United states is sending Scott Kelley. Russia is sending Mikhail Kornienko. I think this article is very interesting and I hope we as a planet will start sending more people to space.They would have to pay me lots of money to do this job.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT