Space Station Crew Blast Away Despite Virus-Hit Build Up

A three-man crew blasted off to the International Space Station on Thursday, leaving behind a World overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The team told ground control that they were”feeling fine” just before they entered orbit, NASA TV reported.

Under usual circumstances, the leaving crew could have confronted issues from a massive press pack prior to being waved off by family members and friends.

Neither were present this time round due to travel restrictions imposed over the virus, although the crew did respond to emailed questions from journalists at a Wednesday press conference.

Cassidy, 50, confessed the crew was influenced by their own families not being unable to be in Baikonur due to their blastoff into the ISS.

“But we realize that the entire world can be influenced by the exact same crisis,” Cassidy said.

Astronauts routinely enter quarantine ahead of distance missions and provide a final press conference at Baikonur from behind a glass wall to protect them from infection.

That process started even earlier than usual last month since the trio and their reserve crew hunkered down in Russia’s Star City training center outside Moscow, eschewing traditional pre-launch rituals and visits to the capital.

Roscosmos said on Tuesday the cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka would soar to Russia in the cosmodrome rather than by the typical staging post of Karaganda airport when he returns to Earth from the ISS later this month.

NASA has not yet confirmed travel programs for Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir, who’ll be departing the ISS along with Skripochka on April 17.

The ISS typically carries up to six individuals at a time and has a livable distance of 388 cubic metres (13,700 cubic feet) — bigger than a six-bedroom house according to NASA.
Those measurements will sound enviable to a lot of inhabitants of Earth, more than half of whom are about various forms of lockdown as authorities react to COVID-19 with extreme steps.

But people of the ISS frequently feel lonely and crave home conveniences.

In recent weeks, astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS and on Earth have been sharing tips on dealing with self-isolation.

In a piece for the New York Times last month, NASA’s Scott Kelly stated his biggest miss during almost annually in distance was character –“the color green, the smell of fresh dirt, along with the texture of warm sunshine on my head”.

While advocating fresh air walks for those able to appreciate them, Kelly also stated there was nothing wrong with people spending more time in front of a screen during isolation.

Throughout his time aboard the ISS he”binge-watched Sport of the Thrones — twice” and enjoyed regular film nights with crewmates, he wrote.

Two-time cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy has been the face of a 10-week challenge that will see participants post movies of these finishing physical tasks as part of a contest aimed at both adults and youth.

The initiative which Roscosmos is backing aims”to support people in a situation of isolation, instil a healthy way of life and thoughts via regular sports, with no going out in public areas”, Ryazanskiy stated in a video promoting the”Cosmos Training” challenge.

The launch of Ivanishin, Vagner and Cassidy marks the first time a manned mission has utilized a Soyuz-2.1a booster to reach orbit, even once Roscosmos ceased using the Soyuz-FG rocket last year.

The more recent boosters have been put to use in unmanned launches since 2004.

The updated rocket relies on an electronic flight control system instead of the analogue equipment employed in prior Soyuz versions.

The International Space Station — a rare instance of cooperation between Russia and the West — has been orbiting Earth at roughly 28,000 mph (17,000 mph ) since 1998.

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