The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is lifted to its launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
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An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut will leave Earth this week and move into the International Space Station for an entire year.The Russians are old hands at this, but it's been nearly two decades since a cosmonaut has spent close to a year in orbit.The pair will blast off with Russian Gennady Padalka, a veteran spaceman who will spend six months at the orbiting lab.Kelly and Kornienko will remain onboard until next March.NASA and the Russian Space Agency announced Kelly and Kornienko as the one-year crew in late 2012 .The Russians hold the world record of 14 months, set by a physician-cosmonaut aboard the former Mir station in 1994-1995 . Several other Russians spent between eight and 12 months at Mir.
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