Astronauts Begin Quarantine Ahead Of SpaceX Demo-2 Mission To ISS

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SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship is gearing up for its manned mission, carrying two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. Ahead of the liftoff, astronauts Robert "Bob" Behnken and Douglas "Doug" Hurley entered have begun their pre-flight quarantine to ensure that the deadly virus doesn't enter the low Earth orbit or space.

Astronauts Begin Quarantine Ahead Of SpaceX Demo-2 Mission To ISS

 

NASA Astronauts In Quarantine

The COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping across the globe with the number of positive cases on the rise. AS the pandemic drags on for months now, NASA has decided to continue its schedule of sending astronauts to and from ISS.

Hence, Behnken and Hurley have entered quarantine, which is officially termed as 'flight crew health stabilization'. The quarantine ensures that the astronauts are healthy and won't carry any contagious illnesses to the space station.

"Spending the final two weeks before liftoff in quarantine helps ensure the Demo-2 crew arrives healthy, protecting themselves and their colleagues already on the station," NASA said in a blog post updating the health of the astronauts and launch details.

It should also be noted that, before the global pandemic, all astronauts were sent to quarantine before liftoff and also after they land. It's a practice that NASA has been following since the early Apollo program days.

SpaceX Demo-2 Mission

The SpaceX Demo-2 mission is where the NASA astronauts will be heading to ISS. After years together, this would be the first spaceship made on American soil to carry NASA astronauts to space. The Space Crew Dragon is expected to liftoff on May 27 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

Prior to this mission, NASA astronauts relied on the Russian Soyuz spaceship to reach ISS, which would liftoff from Kazakhstan. This is why astronauts entered pre-flight quarantine near the launch site. But now, since the launch would take place in the US, astronauts have two options.

 

One, astronauts can maintain quarantine conditions at home can stay at home until they leave for KSC, where they must report on May 20. Or they could also stay at NASA's Astronaut Quarantine Facility at Johnson Space Center before they go to KSC. As NASA begins sending astronauts from the US, this procedure will likely be followed henceforth.

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