As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps governments on their toes, NASA and other space agencies have added strict measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus among astronauts so they don’t carry the deadly virus around the world. ‘space.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin are scheduled to launch for the International Space Station (ISS) on April 9 and space agencies are in the process of “stabilizing the health” of the next expedition crew , Space reports. com.
Astronauts began their quarantine earlier than usual due to the current pandemic. Other procedures to ensure that astronauts do not bring disease to the ISS are also being evaluated at the US space agency.
NASA requires astronauts to remain in quarantine for two weeks before launching into space. “This is done in order to ensure that they are not sick or incubating disease when they reach the orbiting lab,” the report said on Saturday.
The procedure is crucial because microgravity can affect the immune system, exposing astronauts to the virus. NASA has also suspended visits to facilities where astronauts train before their flight.
The agency has asked its own staff to stay home if they feel sick. According to a CNN report, NASA ordered employees at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama to telecommute after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.
“NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is entering the third stage of our agency’s response framework, with mandatory telework in effect immediately and until further notice,” center director Jody Singer said in a statement. .
Marshall is the second NASA center to invoke mandatory telecommuting in response to the pandemic. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California announced it was restricting access to the center after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
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In Russia, astronauts are prohibited from leaving the Star City training center outside Moscow before their April 9 mission to the International Space Station, the Telegraph reports.
Star City chief Pavel Vlasov has confirmed that the quarantine has been speeded up due to the pandemic. (IANS)