Here on Earth, the world is struggling to get rid of the new COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) pandemic. It was recently classified that way by the WHO (World Health Organization), although plenty of people didn’t take the disease seriously.
But can this new virus be spread into space, so it can infect the crew of the International Space Station? It already infected over half of the world’s countries, and now concerns are raised that it could even reach the famous space station. Chris Cassidy from NASA, along with Roscosmos astronauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin are not allowed to leave the Star City training center. Normally, they are scheduled for flying towards the ISS on April 9, but hopefully, nothing will stop the mission.
It’s a routine
It’s nothing absurd that astronomers go into quarantine before space missions to avoid any kind of illnesses and the possibility of infecting other people.
Pavel Vlasov, who is the head of Star City, details for us how strict are the rules for the astronauts being quarantined:
The crews are not making any trips out, even such traditional ones as visiting the Kremlin wall and the house of Sergei Korolyov on the eve of departure for Baikonu,
However, the two Russian astronauts, Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, were appointed for the flight as backup options. Initially, other two astronauts from Roscosmos (the Russian space agency) were scheduled to go to the International Space Station. Their names are Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin, but the plan was canceled because of medical conditions.
The news of the flight canceling came from Roscosmos itself, which is one of the five agencies involved in the International Space Station program. The others are NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).