Russia’s Roscosmos sees no need to postpone ISS crew’s return to Earth over coronavirus

International Space Station

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos considers it inexpedient to postpone the return of the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth over the coronavirus and the quarantine imposed by Kazakhstan, the Roscosmos press office told TASS on Thursday.

“Roscosmos does not consider it expedient to postpone the return of the crew of the long-term ISS expedition 62 to Earth,” Roscosmos said.

“Indeed, some restrictions imposed by Kazakhstan due to quarantine measures are currently in place. But Roscosmos is interacting with partners and considering options of solving the problem,” the press office said.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir are due to return to Earth on April 17. The next expedition is scheduled to set off on April 9. Its basic crew comprises Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy. The back-up crew includes Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Babkin and NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen.

Kazakhstan’s Health Ministry announced earlier on Thursday that 97 people in the Central Asian republic were infected with the coronavirus to date.

Kazakhstan’s president signed a decree on March 15 on declaring a state of emergency in the republic until April 15 over the coronavirus. The authorities of Kazakhstan also imposed quarantine in Nur-Sultan and Alma-Ata from March 19.