nasa-scott-kelly-training-030415NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are set to launch today to The International Space Station for a year mission!

Typically, an astronaut’s mission will only last four to six months. One of the reason’s for doubling the time is to test human endurance. How will the human body react and adapt to long duration spaceflight? For instance, to get to Mars it would take five hundred days or longer. Another situation researchers want to take a look at is the benefits to helping patients recover from long periods of bed rest and improving monitoring for people whose bodies cannot fight infections.

Long exposure to a zero-gravity environment can affect the human body in multiple ways. Some physical symptoms can include changes to the eyes, muscle atrophy and bone loss. Human psychology is also an important area of study, as the effects of living in isolated and small spaces will be important to understand ahead of future human missions to Mars. Research collected from the one-year mission can help NASA and the international partners reduce risks and better understand how to ensure astronauts will thrive on longer missions.-NASA

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Watch the launch live here starting at 2:30pm ET

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Claudia Dolph
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