NASA and Russian cosmonauts launches to the ISS amidst the Coronavirus pandemic!


A NASA astronaut, Chris Cassidy, and his two Russian partners Ivan Vagner and Anatoli Ivanishin prepared for launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 9, 2020.

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This launch comes at a time when many space events remain suspended for the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions prevent the astronaut’s families and media officials to attend the launch. Everyone with launch duties maintained ‘social distancing‘. But everyone kept six feet distance from each other and all wore masks. But many of these health and safety precautions are standard for astronauts launching to space.

NASA has a proven history for quarantining all astronauts before any intergalactic event. Because in general, it helps get rid of cold and flu occurring on our planet. This was a concern even in the early days of NASA.

Courtney Beasley is the communications specialist at NASA’s Space Center. She says, ” the health of the crew is of utmost importance. It is always our paramount responsibility to get them fit.” Because it ensures that the astronauts are not sick or incubating any illnesses. This is the “health stabilization procedure”.

Both, NASA and Roscomos, the Russian Space Agency maintained a 2 week quarantine period as issued by the CDC. During this quarantine, all astronauts live in their respective crew quarters. But this time is not a total waste, however. Because they prepare for flight, study, work out and make video calls to families during this period.

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What is the current status of the NASA launch? Where can you see it?

Almost 6 hours after today’s morning launch, the cosmonauts will dock with the International Space Station at around 10:15 A.M. ET. After 2 hours the hatch doors will open and they will be together with Roscomos astronaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan. After this ordeal, Meir and Skripochka will return to Earth on 17 April 2020. They spent 6 months in the space station.

You can watch the launch live from here at around 10:15 A.M. ET.

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