NASA PR — Scientists, engineers, educators, physicians and space explorers from around the world convened in May at Rice University in Houston at the annual International Space Medicine Summit. This summit provided an opportunity for space professionals in the international community to identify space medicine research goals and national policies that foster collaboration, communication and cooperation between spacefaring nations. This year’s summit occurred at an ideal time, as the International Space Station partnership moves forward with its plan to put an American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut in space for an entire year.
Between 1987 and 1995, four Russian cosmonauts spent a year or more consecutively in space. Now, for the first time, an American astronaut, Scott Kelly, will be joining that exclusive club, as he and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko inhabit the space station for an entire year beginning in 2015. These two explorers will live on the space station for twice as long as a typical space station crew member. Researchers expect the one-year mission to yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges explorers may face as they venture to an asteroid, Mars and beyond. This mission will also provide an additional opportunity for cooperation between research teams around the world.