NASA astronaut, Russian cosmonauts will launch to the space station during a pandemic

The planned launch comes at a time when many events have been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic

4/9/2020 10:03:00 AM

The planned launch comes at a time when many events have been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic

Two Russian cosmonauts, Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy are expected to launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday morning.

NASA has a long history of quarantining astronauts before they go to space to prevent illnesses like cold and flu from occurring off our planet. It was a concern even in the early days of the agency's astronaut program."The health and welfare of the crew is always paramount," said Courtney Beasley, communications specialist at NASA's Johnson Space Center."All of our crew must stay in quarantine for two weeks before they launch. This ensures that they aren't sick or incubating an illness when they get to the space station, and is called 'health stabilization.'"

Blackpink's Lisa scammed by ex-manager: report Independent autopsy finds George Floyd's death a homicide due to 'asphyxiation from sustained pressure' Panukalang batas na naglalayong taasan ang election campaign expenses limit, lusot sa Kamara

Ahead of quarantine, the astronauts have been following the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations regarding coronavirus. NASA and the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, maintained the standard quarantine period of two weeks for the crew, Beasley said.

"During quarantine, the astronauts live in their crew quarters -- NASA has crew quarters for this purpose at Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers -- and Roscosmos has them in Baikonur," she said."They don't have direct contact with anyone who has not been pre-cleared by NASA flight surgeons. The time is spent preparing for flight, studying and resting, as well as working out and making video calls to friends and family members."

About six hours after Thursday morning's launch, they will dock with the International Space Station at 9:30 a.m. ET. About two hours later, the hatches will open and they will join Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan.

Skripochka and Meir will return to Earth on April 17 after spending six months on the station. Morgan, who will also return to Earth with them, launched to the station on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and had an extended mission of eight months.

When Skripochka, Meir and Morgan return from their stay in space, they will be coming back to a very different Earth. When they launched, coronavirus wasn't a threat. Now, it's a pandemic.NASA already has a protocol in place for returning astronauts that includes a post-landing medical check by flight doctors. The doctors and other NASA teams help the astronauts reacclimate to Earth's gravity, getting them up and walking soon after landing. In the weeks after, they're monitored to make sure they're healthy.

This time, the protocols will be more extensive."NASA will closely adhere to the CDC's recommendations on infection control for the coronavirus as Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir return to Earth and begin their post-flight medical testing and readaptation period," Beasley said.

House approves bill on increasing candidates’ campaign expenditures limit Only terrorists should fear anti-terror bill — Sotto Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather will pay for George Floyd's funeral, ESPN reports

"This includes cleaning of surfaces, social distancing, emphasizing hand hygiene, encouraging NASA team members who are sick to stay home, and limiting contact with the crew members."On April 15, two days before the current crew returns to Earth, a"change of command ceremony" will take place on the station as the new crew takes over, according to NASA.

This is the third spaceflight for Cassidy and Ivanishin, and it's the first for Vagner.Cassidy was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 2004. He also served for 11 years as a member of the US Navy SEALs Team. His previous spaceflight experience includes a shuttle mission on Endeavour to help with assembly of the Space Station in 2009. During that flight, he became the 500th person in history to fly in space.

He also spent six months on the space station in 2013, one of the first crew members to participate in the new rendezvous system that shortened docking with the space station from two days to six hours.Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner will also welcome NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley when they arrive at the space station in mid-to-late May on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 flight test.

It will be the first time astronauts will launch into space aboard an American rocket and spacecraft from American soil since the final space shuttle mission in 2011. Since then, crews launching to the International Space Station have been leaving from Baikonur aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Demo-2 is the final flight test of the system before SpaceX is certified to carry out operational crew flights to and from the space station for NASA, the agency said.The agency is monitoring CDC guidance with regards to mission planning, they said. The launch date could be postponed.

Read more: CNN Philippines »

Google offers free Stadia game access during pandemicThat's cool, but then you remember internet speeds suck in this country, and you feel depressed as shit.

LIVE UPDATES: COVID-19 pandemic.SenLeiladeLima wants health workers who died in COVID-19 battle to be declared as national heroes AlfredoGarbin Bakit po hindi muna unahin na HINDI na kakapusin ang PPEs ng mga healthworkers sa loob at labas ng duration date ng lockdown?

LIVE UPDATES: COVID-19 pandemicJUST IN: UK coronavirus death toll rises by 786 The UK's coronavirus death toll has risen by 786, according to new figures released by the Department of Health and Social Care. | via CNN Follow our live blog for more updates: CNN There are now at least 378,289 coronavirus cases in the US There are at least 378,289 cases of coronavirus in the US and more than 11,000 people have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. | via CNN

ExxonMobil latest petroleum giant to slash oil field spendingThe coronavirus pandemic and plunging oil prices force ExxonMobil to cut spending.

LIVE UPDATES: COVID-19 pandemicPhilHealth will be covering the hospital expenses of COVID-19 patients starting April 15, 2020. Bookmark our live blog for more updates on the coronavirus pandemic: I wonder how many COVID-19 tests per day are conducted by DOHgovph? I was looking for their data on number of tests conducted per day but was unable to find it. It seems that there are fewer cases per day (this is good) but the number of tests per day is crucial. Good but a bit late Nakakalungkot na unti- unti nang natatamaan ng virus ang ating mga frontliners and yet eto ang mamamayang Pilipino na ubod ng tigas ng ulo at ayaw magstay sa bahay. Maawa kayo sa mga frontliners naten!!!

Pandemic deals blow to plastic bag bans, plastic reduction – The Manila TimesPORTLAND, Oregon: Just weeks ago, cities and even states across the US were busy banning straws, limiting takeout containers and mandating that shoppers bring reusable bags or pay a small fee as the movement to eliminate single-use plastics took hold in mainstream America. Screw the plastic ban. Least of our concerns now!!