Tag Archive: isolation


It’s a graphic novel that can’t be easy to translate to either the big or small screens, yet the first episode of a new TNT television series gets off to a good start.  First a series of graphic novels we discussed five years ago here at borg, then a movie starring Chris Evans (reviewed here and discussed here), the futuristic, post-apocalypse universe of Snowpiercer is now here and the first episode wastes no time maneuvering its very allegorical existence into something intriguing.  Academy Award-winning actor Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Alita: Battle Angel, The Princess Bride) takes the baton from the movie cast’s Tilda Swinton in the leading female role, a different twist than you’ll expect if you’re familiar with the previous incarnations.  And though he’s not Chris Evans (who is?)–who starred in the film–male series lead Daveed Diggs (Ferdinand, Zootopia, Star Wars Resistance) jumps right into this insane, preposterous setting and gives it all to make you think it’s real.

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iss_5If there was a best time to be off-planet it would seem to be right now, right?  Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and NASA Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir are the three astronauts of Expedition 62 currently working aboard the International Space Station, in its 20th year of consistently-manned orbit around Earth.  Morgan launched into space July 20, 2019, for an extended duration mission, and Meir and Skripochka left for the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on Sept. 25, 2019, all well in advance of the current COVID-19 threat.  To date the ISS has been visited by–lived in by–239 men and women from 19 countries.  Follow Meir @Astro_Jessica and Morgan @AstroDrewMorgan via Twitter for advice on living happily in isolation, and get a look at some of the scientific research they have accomplished on their mission.

The next trio of space travelers is scheduled to take off for the International Space Station tomorrow, April 9.  They have been in quarantine with the space programs increasing their already rigorous disinfection and inspection protocols in light of the current pandemic.  NASA has not released detailed protocols should an astronaut be found to have COVID-19 during the mission, however, the ISS is stocked with a small pharmacy full of pharmaceuticals, including advanced equipment that could be used to intubate an astronaut if necessary.

 

NASA TV will provide live coverage of the crew’s launch and arrival at the orbiting laboratory (also available on the NASA website).  NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy, and Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are set to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:05 a.m. CDT (1:05 p.m. Kazakhstan time).  After the four-orbit, six-hour journey to the space station, the new crew members will dock at 9:16 a.m. CDT.  They will join Skripochka, Morgan, and Meir, who are scheduled to complete their station mission and return to Earth April 17 on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, which will land in Kazakhstan.

To catch Cassidy, Morgan, and Meir live, check out a teleconference at 9:45 a.m. CDT Friday, April 10.  The teleconference will stream on NASA TV and the NASA website, with the astronauts answering questions from orbit.

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