MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A NASA astronaut from northwestern Wisconsin is preparing for his fourth flight to the International Space Station in 2016.

Col. Jeffrey Williams took three flights to space since 2000, logging almost 12 full months in Earth's orbit. A Wisconsin Public Radio report says he'll spend another six months on the space station in 2016.

Williams is a native of Winter in Sawyer County. He says he's preparing for his own flight but he's also training others for orbital flight. He's working with astronauts from Japan, Russia, Canada and half a dozen European nations.

The training starts off in Texas and Russia and then wraps up in Kazakhstan, where the secret launching of Sputnik triggered a space race with the Soviets.

Williams says a key thing he's learned is to enjoy the experience.