When NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan began their missions more than 6 months ago, nobody had ever heard of COVID-19 -- now they're back, and a whole lot has changed.
The 2 astronauts -- along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka -- just touched down back on Earth safe and sound. They landed in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz spacecraft at 1:16 AM ET.
The successful touchdown came after Meir spent 205 days living in space onboard the International Space Station, while Morgan did it for 272 days. It was the first mission for both of them.
Obviously, NASA's elated to get its bold travelers back home safely, but it's gotta be a bit strange and surreal for the astronauts. As soon as they returned they came face-to-face mask with the coronavirus pandemic.
As you can see ... all of the members of the recovery crew were wearing masks as a health precaution while carrying the astronauts and cosmonaut after they landed.
Plus, with all of the social distancing and stay-at-home orders across the globe, it's probably going to make it more difficult for Meir, Morgan and Skripochka to see all of their friends and loved ones in person again.
Space. Not such a bad option after all ... even after 7 months there.