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NASA Astronaut’s Launch Routine Preparation To Space Station Altered by Coronavirus Precautions

Chris Cassidy, a NASA astronaut, is ready to embark on a six-month journey headed for the International Space Station. However, though Cassidy is safe from infection in the Star City pre-flight quarantine outside Moscow, the rising pandemic of coronavirus threatens to affect his upcoming takeoff.

Cassidy, alongside the Russian cosmonauts, Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin, will launch the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft from the pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome that is situated in Kazakhstan on 9th of April. They’re going to spend nearly six months in space on the flight.

Cassidy was the 500th individual to ever travel into space during his first flight to space station in 2009. In 2013, he went back to the space station and currently boasts of six spacewalks to date. So, Cassidy is not a space rookie. But he explained how various activities are contributing to this launch, with the world reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, in his recent satellite interviews. 

Marcia Dunn, of the associate Press, asked Cassidy during the interview whether some part of him was happy to leave during this unsafe period. 

“As a generation, truly, this isn’t like any other moment in our lives,” he responded. He compares this period with other significant times of history. It’s like “Where were you when JFK got shot, where were you when we landed on the moon, where were you when coronavirus occurred, and in years to come I’m going to have a story of my own to tell about this pandemic.” 

Cassidy told Bill Harwood of CBS News that’ I would have told you, hey but this week, I’m going to be in quarantine, these two weeks, if you had asked me eight months ago. But this could have been for a different cause.’ ” I’m definitely in quarantine, and so is everyone else around us.”                                                                                                                    

“More probably last week, if I were in the regular quarantine, it’d be that I’d possibly have gone to a couple of restaurants and then left Star City’s (neighborhood) region and been smart and keen about where we went next. However, not this time since we self isolate in cottages and only go out to get food in some places.

Another significant alteration in the “pre-flight as scheduled” is that Cassidy can not let his family come to be able to watch him take off to space. “I won’t have any launch guests at Baikonur Cosmodrome,” he informed Harwood. As Cassidy gets ready to fly, his wife Julie could only accompany him to Star City and not beyond. He told Dunn that “ it was a fortunate chance” to be able to have Julie with him at that particular moment.