It’s about to happen: NASA’s “Year in Space” is set to take off today, as Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko begin their 12-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
Coverage starts at 2:30 ET/11:30 PT, and takeoff is set for 3:42 p.m. ET/12:42 PT. You can watch it all on NASA TV.
The one-year mission will be the ultimate test in the “limits of human research, space exploration and the human spirit,” according to NASA, making Kelly the first astronaut to spend a year in space as most missions last four to six months. This mission will provide vital information as to how humans can handle much longer periods of time in space, which will help us develop journeys to Mars and beyond.
Astronaut Scott Kelly’s Twitter feed offers a modern-day journal of preparing for this epic journey. It’s quite poetic. Kelly posts pictures of things he’ll miss in his day-to-day life, including a stroll, and mentions sleeping in his bed for the last time, before he blasts off.
Scott told ABC News that will be a tough year, as he’s already done a six-month stint. After “about four months, you start thinking, you know, there is a lot of stuff I miss on Earth,” he said in the interview. “I feel like I have accomplished everything I need to, and I am sorta ready to go home.” He adds that he’s hoping space-station fever doesn’t set it in as fast this time around.
This mission is especially important for Kelly as he’s part of the “Twins Study,” his twin astronaut Mark Kelly remaining on earth acting as the control subject. NASA scientists say this mission is crucial to understanding how long exposure to zero gravity affects bones, muscles and human psychology.
See a few of Kelly’s tweets below pre-countdown:
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) March 27, 2015
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) March 26, 2015
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) March 6, 2015
Best wishes to NASA and the crew for a safe and fruitful mission — we’ll be watching!
Watch the Kelly talk about his mission here on ReelNASA: