In the early hours of April 9EST, three astronauts will be launched from Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station, where they will meet three astronauts already living and working in orbit,media reported. Since the flight was launched during the pandemic, there are stricter restrictions and protocols to prevent the new corona virus from going into space.
The three astronauts on the trip to orbit were NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. Ivanishin and Vagner were last-minute alternateastronauts, the eyes of an astronaut who had been sent on a mission. For Cassidy and Ivanishin, this will be their third time on track, and for Vagner, it will be the first. The astronauts will stay on the International Space Station for a total of six months.
Final preparations for a trip from Russia to the space station usually begin in Star City, a small town on the outskirts of Moscow. After a brief stop, the crew then headed to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where the rocket was launched for a two-week quarantine period. Even before the outbreak, NASA and Russia’s national space agency, the Russian space agency, required crews to enter a two-week quarantine period before launch to ensure that travelers did not inadvertently bring bacteria into space.
However, while the crew was still in Star City, the quarantine procedures were slightly speeded up. By the time Cassidy arrived in early March, stricter travel restrictions and social isolation measures were in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “If it’s in a normal quarantine, I might be able to go out to a restaurant and leave the direct range of the Star City area and just tell us where we’ve been,” Cassidy said in a March 19 interview. “But not this time.” We’ve been kind of isolated in the cottage where we live, just going to some places to eat. “
Pavel Vlasov, head of the Yuri Gagarin Astronaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, confirmed that the crew began isolating earlier than usual. “They did not make any trips, even traditional ones, such as the Kremlin walls and Sergei Korolyov’s house before setting off for Baikonur,” Vlasov said in a statement on the Russian space agency’s website.
Since then, Cassidy has gone to the Baikonur Cosmodrome and gone through routine quarantine procedures. A NASA spokesman said NASA maintains that its employees have been following the CDC’s recommendations to control infections before isolation, “such as cleaning surfaces, maintaining social distance, emphasizing hand hygiene, encouraging sick NASA team members to stay at home, and restricting contact with crew members.” A NASA spokesman said, “Cassidy has been following the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to control infection before quarantine.” Meanwhile, Cassidy and his crew have been in relatively closed hotels, preparing for tasks, exercising and even playing table tennis. “
In addition, the Russian space agency has banned all media from going to the launch site to report that fewer people will be cheering on the international space station as the astronauts travel to the International Space Station. “Normally, when you walk out of the hotel… There was music, and from the hotel to the bus, there was a queue on the sidewalk, very, very uplifting. It’s a super exciting time,” Cassidy said. But these celebrations will be cancelled this time. “It will be completely quiet. There will be no one present. That’s how we go out. Maybe we’ll still play music, and then the three of us will celebrate on our own. But who knows? “
Cassidy’s family and friends were unable to attend because of travel restrictions. His wife was with him when he was in Star City. But her itinerary changed on March 16th after Russia restricted foreign travel. Eventually, when Cassidy went to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, she went home. “We thought we could say goodbye on the day of the launch,” Cassidy said. “
Still, Cassidy felt good before launch. He even shared his friend’s rap on Instagram, showing how to stay at home against COVID-19. He hoped that all the additional precautions would be enough to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading into space. “I haven’t really touched anyone else, so if I’m really infected, it’s really, really weird.” Cassidy said on March 19. “Anything can happen between now and April 9, but we’re really super vigilant so I can stay healthy and go to the International Space Station.” “
On the International Space Station, astronauts will conduct scientific experiments and possibly even some spacewalks.
“I’m going to have a lot of things to be busy with, and my mind will be on my job, but I’ll still chat, communicate, and email with my family, my family and friends.” Cassidy said. “I certainly wouldn’t disengage because of this, thinking it wasn’t my problem. This is of course my problem, because my family is living in it, and my friends and colleagues are living in it in real time. “
The mission is scheduled to take off at 4:05 a.m. EST on April 9. After launch, the astronauts will make four orbital flights around the Earth before arriving at the International Space Station in six hours. NASA’s coverage of the launch will begin at 3 a.m. EST and docking will begin at 9:30 a.m. EST.