From Here to Mars - John B. Charles

 

The year-long mission of American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko included the most complex biomedical experiments ever conducted on the International Space Station yielding crucial scientific data on the physiological, psychological, and medical effects of long duration spaceflight. Together with the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Biomedical Problems, NASA's Human Research Program identified more than 20 biomedical investigations to be conducted on the two crew members before, during, and after their year-long expedition. By chance, Kelly was one of a pair of homozygous twins, and both brothers volunteered for additional genetic measurements to clarify the effects of spaceflight exposure at every level of organization of the human body. Future year-long ISS expeditions are under consideration, which will help inform the development of an integrated applied research methodology for the space station and future interplanetary expeditions. As we look to human exploration of Mars, these studies will systematically improve our understanding of long duration space travel and bring the red planet one step closer.