The International Space Station‘s Expedition 46 crew returned safely to Earth on March 1, 2016 completing the first-ever year-long mission in space for NASA Commander Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.
Kelly and Kornienko spent a total of 340 days in space for the mission before landing safely in a Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan. Both men have already spent time in space with Kelly’s total number of days spent in orbit now at 520 and a new total of 512 days for Kornienko.
NASA will be analyzing the data from the mission for months and years to come to better understand what longterm exposure to life in space does to the human body.
The one-year mission will provide new insights into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and stress of long-duration spaceflight. The science will continue for months and years as the data are collected and analyzed, an important step in the first phase of NASA’s efforts to prepare humanity for the journey to Mars. Such Earth-reliant exploration will lead to more complex operations in orbit around the moon where NASA will demonstrate, advance, and validate the capabilities and technologies we will need to send humans to Mars.