Astronauts enter quarantine amid COVID-19 before historic SpaceX Demo-2 launch

Katie Ramirez
May 15, 2020

When NASA announced the official launch date, SpaceX still had quite a bit of work to do before the big event.

The animation above shows how SpaceX and NASA envision the mission going, from the astronauts stepping out of their ride to the launch pad (a Tesla Model X badged with NASA logos past and present), their trip across the bridge linking the launch tower to the Falcon 9 that will take them up and their spacecraft's separation from the rocket and subsequent docking procedure with the ISS.

The real Crew Dragon will journey to the ISS in NASA's upcoming SpaceX Demo-2 mission, which will lift off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on May 27, 2020.

NASA clarified that although people globally were under various forms of quarantine to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the astronauts' new constraints are standard. They will be part of the SpaceX's Demo-2 mission. They entered it two weeks before to make sure that they are healthy and that they will not be carrying the virus to the space station.

"NASA's quarantine rules are created to protect astronaut crews while allowing them to continue working closely together, by limiting who can be in close proximity to them and ensuring they stay in environments in which their exposure to contagions or other hazardous materials can be tightly controlled in advance of their launch". But US astronauts do have specific options when it comes to where they complete the quarantine.

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As a result of the coronavirus, NASA is taking extra precautions to shield its astronauts.

Since the end Space Shuttle programme in 2011, NASA has relied on Russia's Roscosmos agency to launch crews into orbit.

One of NASA's biggest goals, launching astronauts from the United States for the first time since the space shuttle era, is very, very close to being achieved.

Great news, everyone (if you're Russian): NASA is hedging its bets on Commercial Crew and SpaceX by spanking a few more million dollars on another Soyuz seat this autumn.

On May 27, SpaceX will test and prove the reliability of its spacecraft after previously docking it to the ISS.

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