UT grad and cosmonaut going into space

This image provided by NASA shows the intersecting thin line of Earth's atmosphere with the International Space Station's solar array wings photographed Thursday May 20, 2011 by an STS-134 crew member while space shuttle Endeavour remains docked with the station. (AP Photo/NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- A former space shuttle commander and a Russian cosmonaut will be going into space for a year.

Scott Kelly graduated from Mountain High School in 1982. He received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College[14] in 1987, and a M.S. degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville,

He's the twin brother of another astronaut, Mark Kelly -- the husband of former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

He and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Komienko will begin their year on the International Space Station in 2015.

The extended mission was approved almost two months ago to provide a medical foundation for future long-duration flights -- including missions around the moon and trips to asteroids and Mars.

Both men have already lived aboard the space station for six months. NASA wanted experienced space station astronauts, to streamline the amount of training needed for a one-year stint.

Russia will continue to hold the space endurance record. Four cosmonauts spent at least a year aboard the old Mir space station. A Russian doctor was there for nearly 15 continuous months.