NASA Astronauts Enter Two-Week Quarantine Ahead of Historic SpaceX Demo-2 Mission

NASA astronauts have two-week entered quarantine ahead of the historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission.
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley walk down the Crew Access Arm connecting the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to the launch tower during a dress rehearsal at the Kennedy Space Center on January 17, 2020 | Image credit: SpaceX/NASA

The crew of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station has entered quarantine ahead of the historic mission.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will spend the first seven days of their two-week quarantine at home or at the Johnson Space Center’s Astronaut Quarantine Facility. On May 20, the pair will move to the Kennedy Space Center ahead of the launch of the SpaceX Demo-2 mission.

Although it’s standard for ISS-bound astronauts to enter quarantine ahead of a launch, additional safeguards have been implemented in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to the quarantine period being increased from 7 to 14 days, contact with the two astronauts will be strictly managed. According to a NASA press release, anyone coming into contact with the two astronauts will be screened for temperature and symptoms. Those that are required to come into close contact with Behnken and Hurley will be tested for the virus twice as a precaution.

The SpaceX Demo-2 mission is significant for a number of reasons. In addition to it being the first crewed mission of a Crew Dragon spacecraft, Demo-2 will also be the first crewed mission to launch from US soil since the retirement of the space shuttle nearly a decade ago.

The Demo-2 Crew Dragon will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 from the historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. It is currently scheduled to lift off at 20:33 UTC on May 27.

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.