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Russian, U.S. astronauts selected for year-long space flight


13:20, November 27, 2012

MOSCOW, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Russian federal space agency Roscosmos and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency NASA have picked up crew members for the future year-long mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos said Monday.

Russian cosmonaut to participate in the longest-ever space trip is Mikhail Korniyenko while the U.S. astronaut is Scott Kelly, Roscosmos said in a statement published on its website.

The two will blast off in spring of 2015 from Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan and return to Earth in spring of 2016.

The aim of the year-long expedition was to observe the human adaptability to living in space for a long time as a step to the overall preparations for a travel to Mars, Roscosmos said.

Korniyenko and Kelly have already worked together at the ISS as crew members of 23/24 mission. The Russian cosmonaut has spent 176 days on the orbit while the NASA astronaut has been to space for 180 days.

The two pilots are to start their training for the record- breaking mission in 2013.

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