Could you bear to spend a year in space?
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.
Astronauts normally spend about four to six months aboard the space station. The longest an American lived there was seven months, several years back.
Kelly and Kornienko will launch aboard a Russian rocket from Kazakhstan. Americans must buy seats on Russian spacecraft now that NASA's shuttles have retired to museums, until private U.S. companies have vessels capable of carrying human passengers. That's still four or five years off.
Kelly is a 48-year-old, Navy captain with two daughters. Kornienko, 52, is a rocket engineer with a daughter.
Critical thinking challenge: Both astronauts have children. How would you feel if your mother or father was spending a year in space? Would you be proud, scared…or jealous that you couldn't go?
Define this word: vessels
- Posted on November 26, 2012