Three astronauts made their comeback from space amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Three astronauts, NASA’s Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka made their comeback amid the COVID -19 pandemic with a smaller welcoming crew to greet them.

On Thursday afternoon, three astronauts on board the International Space Station loaded into a Russian Soyuz capsule and embarked on the more than three-hour journey back home to Earth amid the coronavirus pandemic. The trio first landed in the Kazakhstan desert after 1AM ET on Friday, April 17th, where a smaller-than-usual welcoming committee was there to greet all of them.

Among the three, Andrew Morgan has been on the ISS for up to 272 days, while Meir and Skripochka have been on board for 205 days. Since the three astronauts made their return amidst the coronavirus pandemic, extra precautions were taken for making their arrival safe on Earth. Like, instead of having a very large crowd of people to greet the returning astronauts in Kazakhstan, only a smaller team than usual was arranged for meeting the crew this time. After the crew as removed from the Soyuz capsule they went through a routine medical check from NASA flight doctors and they’ll continue to be evaluated by medical personnel for weeks and months now.

In a statement, a NASA spokesperson said, “NASA will closely adhere to the CDC’s recommendations on infection control for the coronavirus as Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir return to Earth and begin their post-flight medical testing and re-adaptation period. This includes cleaning of surfaces, social distancing, and emphasizing hand hygiene, encouraging NASA team members who are sick to stay home and limiting contact with the crew members.”