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First year-long ISS mission planned for 2015, scientists hope to learn implications of long-term spaceflight

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International Space Station
International Space Station

The first year-long continuous stay at the International Space Station is slated for Spring 2015, according to NASA. Until now, the hard limit on longterm spaceflight inside the ISS has been six months. That will all change when two astronauts (one representing the United States, the other Russia) board a Soyuz rocket and begin a journey set to last an entire calendar year. With the expedition, scientists hope to gain valuable information on how the human body fares in space for extended periods of time. We've already seen a detrimental impact on things like bone density, vision and other physical traits, but there's still plenty more for NASA to learn before it's comfortable sending astronauts to the far reaches of the cosmos. The agency is also promising to sample "future exploration technologies" during the trip, though it won't be revealing what those technologies are (or the identities of the brave astronauts) until a later date.