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ZVEZDNY GORODOK /Moscow region/, March 13. /TASS/. Russian cosmonaut Mikhal Korniyenko, who worked at the International Space Station for eleven months with the U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, plans to recover as soon as possible to be ready for a new long space mission.
"If I am offered [a flight], I am ready," he told TASS.
On March 12, the U.S. Scott Kelly announced he would quit NASA from April 1.
"We are very friendly," Korniyenko said. "We had good relations well before the flight. Now that we are here, on the Earth, we call each other. It is very comfortable to flight with him - he is not only a good personality, but also a high-level professional. Our relations, our friendship only improved after the flight."
Mikhail Korniyenko and Scott Kelly embarked on their space mission to the ISS on March 27, 2015. They were launched into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan) on board the Soyuz TMA-16M spaceship. The astronauts lived in space continuously for 340 days. They returned to Earth together with the third crew member - Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov who had a 182-day expedition to the orbiting outpost. They landed on the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft.
For the United States it was the first long-term space mission experience, while Soviet and Russian cosmonauts had been on year-long orbital missions. Thus, in 1988 Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov spent 365 days on Russia’s Mir orbital station, and in 1995 Valery Polyakov spent 437 days in orbit, setting a world record for the longest space flight.
After Kelly, Korniyenko and Volkov return to Earth, the ISS mission is continued by the crew comprising Russia’s Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and Timothy Peake of the UK. On March 19, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexei Ovchinin will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft and join Expedition 47.