For astronauts residing aboard the International Space Station, the Corona Virus pandemic is sort of a wild horror film enjoying out beneath their toes. They can relaxation simple figuring out that the virus isn’t current aboard the house station, however being thus far faraway from household and pals might take its toll on anybody, particularly when a world well being disaster is unfolding.
For NASA’s Jessica Meir, who will likely be returning to Earth this week after initially arriving on the ISS manner again in September of final yr, the adjustment will likely be in contrast to something NASA astronauts have skilled earlier than. She’ll be returning to a rustic in the midst of an unprecedented lockdown, with social distancing tips dramatically altering day by day life.
“It’s fairly surreal for us to see this example unfolding on the planet beneath,” Meir stated throughout a current distant press convention aboard the house station. “We can let you know that the Earth nonetheless appears to be like simply as beautiful as at all times from up right here, so it’s troublesome to consider all the adjustments which have taken place.”
Indeed, having astronauts return to Earth proper now will likely be in contrast to it has been in the previous. Rather than celebrating the finish of a profitable mission to house, the scientists can have to settle for congratulations over the telephone or by way of video chat. For Meir, there’s one easy thing she stated she’s going to miss greater than something, upon returning to stable floor: hugs.
“I believe for me it’ll nonetheless be good to return and to see some acquainted locations and a few acquainted faces,” Meir says. “It definitely will likely be very troublesome to not give you the chance to give hugs to my household and pals. That’s one thing, after being up right here for seven months, and being the kind of person who I’m, it will likely be troublesome for me to try this, however I do know that’ll be a part of the sport for some time.”
It’s wild to take into consideration, however the astronauts aboard the house station proper now have extra freedom of interplay with each other than we do right here on Earth. They’re minimize off from the remainder of us, however their little house station household can nonetheless be in shut quarters with out worrying about spreading a doubtlessly lethal illness.
“I believe that I’ll truly really feel extra remoted on the Earth than I did up right here as a result of that’s simply a part of our anticipated routine up right here, and we’re so busy with so many different wonderful pursuits and we now have this unbelievable vantage level of the Earth beneath that we don’t actually really feel as a lot of that isolation.”