A former Navy fighter pilot who spent several years at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach in the 1990s has been selected for a year-long mission aboard the International Space Station.
Scott Kelly, 48, a New Jersey native, will launch into space aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft with his Russian-born colleague, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.
The goal of the yearlong expedition is to help scientists better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to living in space, according to a NASA news release.
Kelly was designated a Navy pilot in 1989 and flew with Oceana-based Fighter Squadron 143, making overseas deployments aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He was selected to attend U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in January 1993 and completed training in June 1994. After graduation, he worked as a test pilot at Strike Aircraft Test Squadron, Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md.
Kelly was selected by NASA in 1996 and is a veteran of three space flights, having logged more than 180 days in space.