While working in space, NASA astronaut Jessica Meir took a moment to thank the medical personnel, frontline workers and first responders who have been working to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus here on Earth (opens in new tab).
Last week (April 9), astronauts Meir, Andrew Morgan and Chris Cassidy answered media questions (opens in new tab) from the International Space Station (opens in new tab) ahead of Meir and Morgan's return to Earth, which is scheduled for Friday (April 17). Before answering questions, Meir addressed the camera to thank people back on Earth.
"We would all like to just give our thanks," Meir said, "to the doctors, the nurses, all the medical personnel, police officers, firefighters — really everybody that is on the front lines down there putting their lives on the line for all of the human race … we give our profound thanks and heartfelt thanks to all of them. Thank you very much, your efforts are appreciated."
Meir, along with Morgan, has been on the space station for the duration of the pandemic. Astronauts on the space station have access to the news and the internet but they haven't been on Earth to experience first-hand just how different things are for so many people around the world as they self-isolate and work to reduce the spread of the illness. In her conversation with the media, Meir said that "it's difficult to believe all the changes that have taken place."
However, while she noted that after seven months in space she is sad that she won't be able to hug her friends and family when she returns home, it will still be wonderful to see them again from a safe distance.
- The International Space Station: inside and out (infographic) (opens in new tab)
- Soyuz 'fast track': how 1-day space station trips work (infographic)
- The International Space Station: inside and out (infographic)
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