One-Year Crew Set for Launch to Space Station

By  //  March 26, 2015

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launch set for MARCH 27 from Kazakhstan

The prime crew members for International Space Station Expedition 43 take a break in training for a crew portrait. From left are Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos. Kelly and Kornienko will be spending an entire year in space on board the ISS. (NASA.gov image)

The prime crew members for International Space Station Expedition 43 take a break in training for a crew portrait. From left are Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos. Kelly and Kornienko will be spending an entire year in space on board the ISS. (NASA.gov image)

Kazakhstan – The first one-year crew for the International Space Station is set to launch Friday, March 27.

nasa-180NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year living and working aboard the space station and will launch with cosmonaut Gennady Padalka.

The trio will become part of the station’s Expedition 43 crew.

The launch is scheduled for 3:42 p.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The trio will ride to space in a Soyuz spacecraft, which will rendezvous with the space station and dock after four orbits of Earth.

ABOVE VIDEO: Aboard the International Space Station, the new Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA and Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) discussed the progress of their mission and key activities in the weeks ahead in a pair of in-flight interviews March 13 with WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C,. and Euronews. Virts took over command of the station March 10 from NASA’s Barry Wilmore, who returned to Earth March 12 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft with two Russian cosmonaut crewmates.

Docking to the space station’s Poisk module will take place at 9:36 p.m. Friday.

Terry Virts

Terry Virts

Hatches between the Soyuz and the station will be opened at approximately 11:15 p.m., at which time Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA and his crewmates, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency), will greet Kelly, Kornienko and Padalka.

Kelly and Kornienko will spend a year on the space station to better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space.

Data from the expedition will be used to determine whether there are ways to further reduce the risks on future long-duration missions to an asteroid and eventually Mars.

The crew will support several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science — research that impacts life on Earth.

Expedition 42 crew members pose for a final crew portrait before they split up March 11, 2015. Cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore returned to Earth a few hours later in the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft. (NASA.gov image)

Expedition 42 crew members pose for a final crew portrait before they split up March 11, 2015. Cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore returned to Earth a few hours later in the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft. (NASA.gov image)

Data and samples will be collected throughout the year from a series of studies involving Scott and his twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly.

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The studies will compare data from the genetically-identical Kelly brothers to identify any subtle changes caused by spaceflight.

Padalka will spend six months aboard the outpost, during which he will become the first four-time station commander and record holder for most cumulative time spent in space.

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