NASA astronaut beams a message of hope to Earth in the pandemic

"There's hope in being united. When I look down at the planet, it's just a big beautiful spaceship that has 7 billion astronauts on it."


Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy sent home a message of unity from his perch aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday, telling the world that there's hope if we just stick together.

"There's hope in being united," said Cassidy when asked if he had a message for those of us on Earth. "When I look down at the planet, it's just a big beautiful spaceship that has 7 billion astronauts on it."

Cassidy, currently the only American in space and commander of the Expedition 63 mission, said people back home should work together and do their part to keep the planet and its people healthy.

"Just like the three of us here working in harmony to conduct our daily missions effective and safely, that's what we should be doing on Earth," Cassidy said.

"Now that's easier said than done. It requires everybody to pitch in and do their part. But that is step one - Each individual taking ownership and doing your part, doing the right thing. And together as a crew on planet Earth we can make anything happen," said Cassidy.

The astronaut has been aboard the space station since April 9, when there were under 500,000 cases in the U.S. and less than 20,000 deaths. Now, there are at least 1,356,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and at least 81,500 deaths.

But Cassidy says it's "largely business as usual" in space, despite the coronavirus pandemic tearing across the globe beneath him. But he admitted it was "quite something" talking with the crew he swapped out with, astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir, who left Earth before the virus broke out but returned home to a world changed by the pandemic.

Related video: Astronaut Jessica Meir discusses returning to Earth amid the COVID-19 pandemic

"I've exchanged a few emails with them. They've had an interesting adjustment going from the busy life here in the space station to much more quarantine and isolation in their own homes," he said.