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US and Russian space agencies to launch first year-long mission on the ISS


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If you thought that year out around Europe was an eye opener, how about 12 months on the International Space Station? That's what's in store for two unnamed astronauts. Currently, the maximum stay on the ISS is six months, but in 2015, one Russian, and one American will work their way through the whole calendar, in a trip that could help pave the way for deep space travel. Plenty of data has already been collected about the effect microgravity has on the body, but less is known of the longer-term implications. NASA is already considering sending manned expeditions to near-Earth asteroids and Mars in the coming decades -- but the results from this excursion could prove invaluable. The names of the chosen two haven't been revealed, and the Soyuz capsule's (currently unaccounted for) third-seat has also sparked talk of another person possibly coming along for the ride. Time to re-plan that gap year?

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