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Home » The Human Element » What were the news headlines when NASA’s astronauts left Earth pre COVID-19?

What were the news headlines when NASA’s astronauts left Earth pre COVID-19?

NASA Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir flank Expedition 62 Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos for a playful portrait in the weightless environment of the International Space Station. Credits: NASA

PortandTerminal.com, April 17, 2020

Two NASA astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut on Friday made a safe return from the International Space Station (ISS) to find the planet transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.

NUR-SULTAN, KAZAKHSTAN – Andrew Morgan, Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka touched down in central Kazakhstan at 0516 GMT in the first returning mission since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March.

Morgan had been away the longest. He left Earth and arrived on the ISS since July 20, 2019, while Meir and Skripochka arrived in September.

The three astronauts have returned home to a planet in the grips of a pandemic. Upon touching down, they will rejoin a planet where over 2.2 million people have been infected with COVID-19 and almost 150 thousand people have died from it.

The two NASA astronauts will speak with family and friends in America, where all 50 of it states have declared a State of Emergency and are in lockdown. In Andrew Morgan’s home state of Pennsylvania, there are almost 28,000 cases of COVID-19 and 707 deaths. In Jessica Meir’s home state of Maine, things are better – there are just 633 infections and 19 deaths.

To get an appreciation of just how much the world has changed since July 20, 2019, when Andrew Morgan, the longest away from Earth, blasted off, let’s take a look at the news headlines on that day.

July 20, 2019

PortandTerminal.com Headlines

Iranian vessels and a helicopter seized the U.K.-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz
Remember when Iran was causing serious trouble in the Strait of Hormuz and even seized the UK tanker Stena Impero?

TAKEDOWN VIDEO: The moment Friday when Iranians seized the UK-tanker Stena Impero.

CMA CGM container ship sailing underneath bridge
Back in the “Before Times”, East Coast ports were on a tear growing cargo volumes at the expense of their West Coast rivals.

East Coast ports continue to grow cargo volumes impressively

New York Times Headlines

The British oil tanker Stena Impero
Iran’s seizure of the Stena Impero was also a major headline for the New York Times on July 20, 2019

Iran’s Seizure of British Vessel Further Roils Gulf Region

The rapper ASAP Rocky wearing a pink suit.
Remember this guy? The rapper ASAP Rocky was detained in Stockholm while prosecutors investigate a street altercation. President Trump stepped in to help him out.

ASAP Rocky to Remain in Jail in Sweden, as Protest Clamor Grows

Jeffery Epstein sitting in court flanked by his lawyers
Jeffery Epstein was still alive and appearing in court defending multiple sex crime charges

Sheriff to Investigate Jeffrey Epstein ‘Work Release’ After Allegation of Nude Meeting

Jerome Powell at the Banque de France headquarters in Paris on Tuesday. He described a new “world” for central bankers.
The economy looked great! The Federal Reserve was “planning to cut rates at its policy meeting at the end of the month even though the United States economy, by most available evidence, is doing perfectly fine”

The Economy Looks Solid, but the Fed Plans to Cut Rates Anyway. Here’s Why.

In the Before Times, this is what the NYT was upset about. “President Trump outside the White House. He refused to condemn the “Send her back!” chant that was heard at his rally” in North Carolina.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

In Another About-Face, Trump Refuses to Condemn ‘Send Her Back’ Chant

Welcome home

U.S.-Russian space crew greeted with stringent COVID-19 precautions after landing. Field. Helicopters
U.S.-Russian space crew greeted with stringent COVID-19 precautions after landing (April 17, 2020)

Welcome back to Earth, Andrew Morgan, Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka. You all look great. We suspect though you’ll find that we’re not quite as well.

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