NASA: Extended ISS mission not confirmed

Aug. 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM

HOUSTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- NASA says a rumored one-year endurance mission to the International Space Station is just an idea despite a Russian report it would take place in 2015.

Russia's Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source within Russia's Roscosmos Federal Space Agency as saying an American and a Russian would take part in the one-year mission that would be twice the duration of current deployments to the ISS.

NASA responded by saying such a mission hasn't gone beyond the talking stage.

"We are exploring the idea of a one-year increment as part of preparations for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit," NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries of Johnson Space Center in Houston told "But the discussion is very preliminary and no official decisions have been made."

Spending a year on the space station could give scientists an opportunity to study long-term effects of spaceflight such as would be experienced by astronauts on a mission to Mars, which would likely take two years to complete, said.

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