PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The earth welcomed home three space travelers today who had departed the planet well before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19.

The crew members from the International Space Station include a local guy, Army physician and New Castle native Andrew Morgan. He’s been aboard the Space Station since July.

Because earth has a pandemic, and space travel can weaken one’s immune system, the return of Morgan and his crew mates aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule brought extra precautions.

Their journey took more than 3 hours.

The recovery team at the landing site had been under close medical supervision for a month, and tested for the coronavirus.

The astronauts now face strict quarantine, living at NASA for the time being.