In preparation for their flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission, NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, entered their official quarantine period beginning Monday, September 19.
A routine part of final preparations for all missions to the space station is the process of flight crew health stabilization. Spending the final two weeks before liftoff in quarantine helps ensure Crew-5 members are healthy, It also helps protect the astronauts already on the space station.
Crew members can choose to quarantine at home as long as they are able to maintain quarantine conditions prior to travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Crew members also have the option of living in the Astronaut Quarantine Facility at Johnson Space Center until they leave for Kennedy if quarantining at home is not possible. This is commonly done when a household member can’t maintain quarantine because of job or school commitments.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission is the fifth crew rotation flight to the station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Crew-5 is targeted to launch no earlier than 12:45 p.m. EDT (9:45 a.m. PDT) on Monday, October 3, on SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy. Mission operations teams will be closely monitoring the weather leading up to liftoff.
After docking at the station, the Crew-5 astronauts will be welcomed inside the station by the seven-member crew of Expedition 68. Several days after Crew-5’s arrival, the astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission will undock from the space station and return to Earth, splashing down off the coast of Florida.