When astronaut Col. Andrew Morgan returned from a nine-month mission aboard the International Space Station, little did he and the crew of Expedition 60 know that the world that they had left behind wouldn’t be there when he returned. Col. Morgan is now in quarantine at the Johnson Space Center in Houston due to Coronavirus restrictions.
Even though the six crew members were updated with daily news broadcasts, the changes that were happening did not resonate until they had returned home. Crew members included a Russian cosmonaut and an Italian astronaut.
“I don’t know that I expected things would change quite as much; I didn’t think I was going to come back to a country that has more or less closed down,” said the emergency care physician and West Point graduate, according to an Army statement.
The mission, which began on July 20, coincided with the 50-year anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and saw many milestones achieved by Col. Morgan and his crew. In addition to record-setting orbits and space walks, history was made when he swore-in 800 new Army recruits from ISS in February.
A new record for the most consecutive hours in space was achieved while Morgan and his crew conducted hundreds of experiments in Earth science, human research, biology, physical sciences and technology development. The astronauts studied how to go beyond earth’s orbit to the moon and possibly Mars.