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.