A NASA TV broadcast showed this Friday in Kazakhstan, Russia blasted a rocket off its Baikonur Cosmodrome, on a year-long flight towards International Space Station. The capsule is carrying cosmonauts Gennady Padalka aged 56, Mikhail Kornienko aged 54, and an astronaut from NASA—Scott Kelly aged 51 years.
About The Mission
This is the first year long mission for Kornienko and Kelly, wherein they will be somewhere in earth’s orbit. This is Padalka’s fifth flight to space and is deemed to set a new record in the history of space flights, by staying in space for 878 days.
Way back in 1999, 4 Soviet –era cosmonauts had a year-long mission wherein they stayed on now-derelict Mir space station. There was a lack of medical equipment available; however, the equipment are now available in the exploration to ISS.
Scientists are interested in estimating how the bodies of human beings react to longer days spent in space. The US and other countries are planning forward with multi-year missions to the red planet – Mars.
Challenges For Human Bodies
There are quite a few instances that astronauts have to face – exposure to radiations, bone ailments, changes in immune, cardiovascular and other bodily systems and muscle losses. Kornienko and Kelly will be participants in a myriad of experiments that are used in order to assess physiological and psychological changes and challenges, especially for being in a microgravity environment for a year and more.
Identical Twins Picked For Experimentation
Kelly’s identical twin – Mark Kelly who has been associated with NASA as an astronaut will serve as a subject for impactful genetic and other related studies on the ground. The deputy scientist at the Human Research Program of NASA, Craig Kundrot, overtly stated that the crux of the matter is assessing how much health and what part of human behaviour is affected and determined by genes, nature and environment. Hence, NASA has picked genetically identical twins for this experiment.