ALMATY (Reuters) – NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir will take an unusual – and more exhausting – route back home after landing safely in the Kazakh steppe on Friday, a health care official said Russian, due to blockages caused by the new coronavirus.
A capsule carrying Morgan, Meir and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka landed southeast of the Kazakh city of Dzhezkazgan at 11:17 a.m. local time, as scheduled, after nine months on the International Space Station.
But because all of Kazakhstan’s provinces are stranded against coronaviruses, search and rescue teams were unable to establish a base in Dzhezkazgan or the Karaganda Provincial Center, said Vyacheslav Rogozhnikov, deputy head of the Federal Agency. Russian medical biology.
Instead, the Baikonur Cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan and leased by Russia has been used as a base and the crew of the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft will go there after being extracted from the capsule, Rogozhkin said in a interview broadcast online by the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
From Baikonur, American astronauts will travel 300 km (186 miles) to the city of Kzylorda, where they will board a NASA aircraft, he said, adding hours of exhausting land travel after 205 days in space, 3280 Earth orbits and a journey of 86.9 million miles.
(Reporting by Olzhas Aoulezov; Editing by David Goodman)