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These Guys Can’t Wait to Spend a Year on the Space Station

The two men assigned to a one-year spaceflight said Thursday that their upcoming mission will allow the world to push deeper into space. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will rocket into orbit from Kazakhstan in March and move into the International Space Station for an entire year. For NASA, it will represent a space endurance record; for Russia, it will fall two months shy of its world record.

At a news conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Kelly and Kornienko said they anticipate many scientific gains from their mission. "If we're ever going to go to Mars someday, the International Space Station is really a great platform to learn much more about having people live and work in space for longer durations," Kelly said. It's close to the Earth, and it's a great orbiting facility."

Kelly, a former Navy fighter pilot, said his goals are the same as they are every time he flies in space: "No one gets hurt, we don't break anything and we leave as friends."

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— The Associated Press