Mikhail Borisovich Kornienko is a Russian cosmonaut. Kornienko served as a flight engineer on the International Space Station during Expedition 23/24 and was selected along with Scott Kelly for a year long mission aboard the ISS. Kornienko began the year long mission in March 2015, blasting off on Soyuz TMA-16M.
On February 24, 1998, Kornienko was selected as a test cosmonaut candidate and, in 1999, following basic training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, he was qualified as a test cosmonaut. Since 1999, he has trained in the International Space Station group. He served on the ISS Expedition 8 backup crew as a flight engineer. In 2005, he was assigned to the Soyuz TMA-10 and Expedition 15 back-up crew as Flight Engineer 1.
Kornienko was aboard the space station as a Flight Engineer, being part of the Expedition 23/24 crew. He lifted off on April 2, 2010, along with fellow Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Skvortsov and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson aboard Soyuz TMA-18 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Ending Expedition 24, the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft carrying Mikhail Kornienko, Alexander Skvortsov and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson undocked from the space station at 10:02 pm EDT on September 24, 2010. Following a normal descent, the Soyuz crew landed at 5:23 am GMT ear Arkalyk, Kazakhstan on September 25.
After returning to Earth and sharing his experiences to an audience, Kornienko said "The thing you miss there most of all is the Earth itself, I missed smells. I missed trees, I even dreamt of them. I even hallucinated. I thought I smelled a real fire and something being barbecued on it! I ended up putting pictures of trees on the walls to cheer up. You do miss the Earth there."
In November, 2012, NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and their international partners selected two veteran spacefarers for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station in 2015. This mission included collecting scientific data important to future human exploration of our solar system. NASA selected Scott Kelly and Roscosmos chose Mikhail Kornienko. Kelly and Kornienko launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in March 2015 landed on March 1, 2016 at 22:00hr. Kelly and Kornienko already have a connection; Kelly was a backup crew member for the station's Expedition 23/24 crews, where Kornienko served as a flight engineer. The goal of their yearlong expedition aboard the orbiting laboratory was to understand better how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space. Data from the 12-month expedition will help inform current assessments of crew performance and health and will determine better and validate countermeasures to reduce the risks associated with future exploration as NASA plans for missions around the moon, an asteroid and ultimately Mars.
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