- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Astronauts to be in orbit 1 year
Question of the Day
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A former space-shuttle commander whose twin brother is married to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will attempt the longest spaceflight ever by an American.
The countries’ space agencies announced the names of the two veteran space fliers on Monday. The extended mission was approved almost two months ago to provide a medical foundation for future missions around the moon as well as far-flung trips to asteroids and Mars.
Both men already have lived aboard the space station for six months. NASA wanted experienced space-station astronauts to streamline the amount of training necessary for a one-year stint. Officials had said the list of candidates was very short. The two men will begin training next year.
“Their skills and previous experience aboard the space station align with the mission’s requirements,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, head of human exploration for NASA, in a statement. “The one-year increment will expand the bounds of how we live and work in space and will increase our knowledge regarding the effects of microgravity on humans as we prepare for future missions beyond low-Earth orbit.”
Mr. Kelly’s identical twin, Mark Kelly, retired from the astronaut corps last year and moved to Tucson, Ariz., his wife’s hometown. The former congresswoman was critically wounded in an assassination attempt in January 2011, while Scott Kelly was living aboard the space station.
NASA said neither crew member was available Monday to comment and that news conferences would be held next week to outline the mission.
Astronauts normally spend about four to six months aboard the space station. The longest an American has lived there is seven months, several years back.
Russia, though, will continue to hold the world space endurance record.
Four cosmonauts spent at least a year aboard the old Mir space station. A Russian physician, Valery Polyakov, logged nearly 15 continuous months there in the mid-1990s.
Boris Morukov, head of the Moscow-based Institute for Medical and Biological Problems, Russia’s main space-medicine research center, told the Interfax news agency that communications and food rations for Mr. Kelly and Mr. Kornienko may be limited during their yearlong mission to better simulate interplanetary travel.
The two men will launch aboard a Russian rocket from Kazakhstan. Americans must buy seats on Russian spacecraft now that NASA’s shuttles have been retired to museums, until private U.S. companies have vessels capable of carrying human passengers. That’s still four or five years off.
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq