NASA and Russia's space agency are pushing ahead with plans for a yearlong stay in space, choosing the two men who will undertake the mission.
Scott Kelly, a NASA veteran with more than 180 days in space, and Russia's Mikhail Kornienko are scheduled to launch in spring 2015 to spend a year aboard the International Space Station, according to a NASA news release. A main goal of the expedition is to determine the effects of such a long stay on the human body.
"The one-year increment will expand the bounds of how we live and work in space," William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in the release.
Scientists have been monitoring how shorter stays aboard the ISS -- which has been occupied for 12 years -- have affected physical aspects including muscle mass, strength and bone density. But horizons for manned missions have widened, and researchers are looking to move beyond low-Earth orbit and want to know how microgravity will affect humans in the longer term.