After 9 years since the last time it did so, NASA is finally sending a new crewed mission in space called SpaceX’s Demo-2. The final countdown has started on May 13, when the co-commanders Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken entered in mandatory quarantine. We have nothing to be jealous about, we all have our own quarantine.
For two weeks, astronauts Bod and Doug will have to stay away from anything that might contaminate them. Not just with COVID-19, but especially with COVID-19. In the middle of the coronavirus quarantine, they are entering the flight crew health stabilization. This is the name of the standard astronautic quarantine. In addition to standard procedures, the two astronauts and those who will be in contact with them will be tested twice for possible COVID-19 contagion.
They even have a choice. They can stay isolated in their own homes if members of the family can do the same, and don’t have to leave home. If not, they can do it at NASA’s Astronaut Quarantine Facility at Johnson Space Center.
On May 27, at 20:33 UTC, they have to be aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to fly to the International Space Station. They will remain there for 2-3 months. Their mission is to certify that SpaceX Crew Dragon is capable of safely transporting humans, performing its human-rating certification.
That doesn’t sound too safe, does it? especially when you think about last year. Initially, the mission was programmed to launch in July 2019. But an anomaly to a component that leaked oxidizer and damaged a valve destroyed Crew Dragon Demo-1 during static fire testing.
Doug Hurley was the pilot of Space Shuttle mission, the mission launched in 2011. And he’ll be the commander of the Crew Dragon. Bob Behnken will be the joint operations commander. They were designated for the mission in 2018.