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36 crew on Norwegian cruise ship test positive for Covid-19 – CNN

(CNN)Thirty-six crew and four guests on a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for Covid-19, the cruise company says.

All 158 crew members from the MS Roald Amundsen have been tested after four staff became ill and were found to have the disease on Friday, according to a statement released Saturday by Hurtigruten, the owner of the ship.
“None of the 154 crew members still on board the ship — including the 32 new confirmed positive tests Saturday — has shown any signs of disease or symptoms of Covid-19,” it said. “Four guests have tested positive. The ship is currently docked in Tromso, Norway, with no guests on board.”
The four crew members tested positive Friday after being in isolation for several days for showing “other disease symptoms” but none associated with Covid-19, according to the statement. They are in a hospital in Tromso.
The ship was scheduled to sail to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago north of Norway, on Friday afternoon. That trip has been canceled.
Guests from two expeditions are now self-quarantining in line with Norwegian regulations, Hurtigruten said.
“The safety and well being of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority,” Hurtigruten said in the statement. “All crew members are closely monitored and screened daily.”
Hurtigruten VP of Global Communications Rune Thomas Ege said the company was “focusing all available efforts in taking care of our guests and colleagues” and would be “working closely with the Norwegian national and local health authorities for follow-up, information, further testing and infection tracking.”
The MS Roald Amundsen had two expeditions to the Arctic, one on July 17 with 209 guests, and another on July 24 with 178 guests on board.
On July 27, the European Maritime Safety Agency issued guidelines for the resumption of cruise ships in the European Union and countries in the European Economic Area. It states that “cruise operators need to ensure that cruises do not pose unacceptable health risks to passengers, staff and the general public, in particular when compared to other types of package holiday.”
It recommends enhanced cleaning, keeping physical distancing of at least 1.5 meters, and the use of face masks if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Hurtigruten said its non-Norwegian crew members are quarantined before boarding, and non-European crew need to undergo two negative Covid-19 tests before leaving their home country.
According to John Hopkins, Norway has reported more than 9,200 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 255 deaths.
The country first confirmed cases in February and introduced lockdown measures the following month, including the shutting of its borders to most foreign nationals and the closure of schools and universities.

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NASA working with Tom Cruise to film movie on the International Space Station – Spaceflight Now


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Tom Cruise in “Top Gun: Maverick.” Credit: Paramount Pictures

NASA said Tuesday it is working with Tom Cruise to film a movie on the International Space Station, but details on the arrangements are scarce.

The news that Cruise was in talks with to shoot an action-adventure film on the space station was first reported Monday by Deadline, which said the actor is working with SpaceX on the project.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted Tuesday that the agency is “excited to work Tom Cruise on a film aboard the space station. We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.”

Cruise, the 57-year-old star of Top Gun and the Mission: Impossible film franchise, has performed daring stunts before. NASA did not confirm Tuesday whether Cruise would himself fly to the space station as part of the film.

SpaceX has not confirmed its role in the film project, but Cruise could fly to the space station on the company’s Crew Dragon spaceship. The Crew Dragon is designed to carry up to four people to and from low Earth orbit, potentially room enough for Cruise, a small film crew and a professional astronaut in command.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, tweeted Tuesday: “Should be a lot of fun!”

NASA last year said it would enable private astronauts to spend up to 30 days on the International Space Station. The paying passengers would fly to the station on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft or Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner crew capsule, the two human-rated spaceships developed by U.S. industry in partnership with NASA.

Private companies would pay for access to the orbiting research outpost, and the commercial companies would be responsible for funding the flight’s launch and trip to the space station.

The International Space Station viewed in 2018 from a departing Soyuz spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Roscosmos

Earlier this year, the space tourism company Space Adventures — which arranged the flight of Garriott and other wealthy passengers to the station on Russian spacecraft — announced an agreement with SpaceX to fly paying passengers on a Crew Dragon spacecraft without going to the space station. Instead, the Crew Dragon contracted by Space Adventures will fly on its own in Earth orbit, reaching altitudes hundreds of miles above the space station to provide passengers a more expansive view of Earth.

Axiom Space said in March that it signed a contract with SpaceX to ferry a professional astronaut and three paying passengers to the International Space Station as soon as next year.

Deadline reported Monday that the film project is “real” but in the “early stages” of development. No studio is attached yet to the film, Deadline reported.

Cruise narrated the 2002 IMAX documentary film Space Station 3D, which was filmed by astronauts during the assembly of the International Space Station. A short science fiction film named Apogee of Fear was filmed on the space station in 2008 by Richard Garriott, who paid for his trip to orbit on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

But celebrity spaceflights and past plans for filmmaking projects in orbit have faltered before reaching the launch pad.

Singer Lance Bass of NSYNC began training to fly on a Soyuz mission to the space station in 2002, but his sponsorships fell through. A Russian actor hoped to fly to the Russian space station Mir in 2000, but the project collapsed due to lack of funds.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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