- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Astronaut braces for unprecedented year in space
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. (AP) - NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is already bracing for an unprecedented one-year mission aboard the International Space Station. He figures it will be as grueling as climbing Mount Everest.
The mission, set to begin in 2015, is intended as a medical test bed for even longer Mars expeditions in the decades ahead.
Space station life can be routine, Kelly noted during a news conference.
“In the morning, you wake up, you’re at work. When you go to sleep, you’re also at work. So imagine being in your office for a whole year and you never get to leave,” he said. “That is a challenge and it presents its own set of issues, but I think I’m up for it.”
As for being off the planet for that long, Kelly said he already knows how he reacts to horrific news while in orbit.
During his five-month space station mission that spanned 2010 and 2011, his sister-in-law, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in an assassination attempt in Tucson, Ariz. She is married to Kelly’s identical twin, Mark, who retired as a NASA astronaut last year.
“Certainly, nothing good comes out of anything like this. But as a result, I do know how I respond to something along those lines,” he said.
Kelly, 48, a Navy captain, has two daughters from a previous marriage, ages 9 and 18. The youngest, Charlotte, screamed “awesome” when she learned her father was selected for the one-year mission.
Meanwhile, in Russia, Kornienko’s wife wept at the news. The 52-year-old cosmonaut, a rocket engineer with one daughter, said he initially had some doubts about taking on such a challenge. He previously spent six months in space.
“A year is a serious time,” Kornienko said in Russian. But he said his doubts did not last long, “and actually it was my initiative.”
Kelly was among four astronauts on NASA’s short list for the assignment. Each had served as a commander aboard the space station, and was able to perform spacewalks and robot arm operations. Medical information also went into the selection: A crew member could not have exceeded his limit for exposure to cosmic radiation, for instance.
Kelly said he has no idea how or why he ended up being chosen. He will set a U.S. space endurance record with this mission. No American has spent more than seven months in space at a time.
Russia, on the other hand, already has experience with yearlong space travel. But it’s limited to the old Mir space station and more than a decade has passed.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow