NASA Experiments to fly Aboard to its Gateway Space Station? How do astronauts tackle with harmful pathogens? Is outer space safe from COVID-19?

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Two experiments by NASA designed to monitor the space environment are soon going to orbit the Moon through the Gateway space station. The question is how the ISS program is protecting its crew members from harmful pathogens.

The space station is operated simultaneously by the U.S., Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada. It orbits the Earth from an altitude of 250 miles. Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, is the only one successful for launching astronauts to and from the Station.

Experiments to keep a check on the radiation environment in Lunar orbit

According to Axios, the tests are supposed to keep an eye on the radiation in the lunar orbit to protect the astronauts during their exploration. NASA’s associate administrator for science, Thomas Zurbuchen, stated that the space agency is trying to discover ways to enhance the process of forecasting space climate.

The European Space Agency has come up with a new instrument that will help revealing radiation from the gateway. It gives an idea to humans on Earth about how much pollution an astronaut experiences in space.

It is to be noted that before the astronauts are taken aboard, they are thoroughly checked and tested for any virus that they might carry with them from Earth. Thus, the novel Coronavirus is not at all making an impact on safety procedures.

“[Before] launching to the International Space Station, the crew is quarantined and observed for any potential symptoms and tested,” Luis Zea, a researcher from BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Quarantine measures are applied to all the astronauts by NASA before they are sent to the space station in the Soyuz capsule, which takes off from Kazakhstan. It is said that each astronaut is kept for at least two weeks in quarantine to ensure that they do not carry any harmful virus with them. The objects that are carried up to the Station are also cleaned and sterilized beforehand to keep disease-causing pathogens at bay.