U.S. astronaut Christopher Cassidy said on Wednesday that he was absolutely confident his crew did not have the coronavirus ahead of their launch to the International Space Station.
“We feel fantastic,” Cassidy told a televised news conference a day before his launch with Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner from the Russian-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The trio has spent a month in quarantine.
They answered journalists’ questions behind a glass barrier as the news conference was filmed.
Journalists were not allowed to enter Baikonur as a precaution.
The spacefarers, scheduled to spend 196 days aboard the space station, are not being allowed to say goodbye to their families in person.
The flight to the space station, which orbits about 400 kilometres above Earth, is scheduled to take four and a half hours.
At the station the trio will join U.S. astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka.
Next week, on April 17, Morgan, Meir, and Skripochka are scheduled to return to Earth.
The station, mostly a collaboration of U.S. and Russian crew members, is tasked with conducting scientific experiments that would be impossible on Earth’s surface.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim
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