Four astronauts blasted into orbit aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday night, marking the company’s first fully manned mission to the International Space Station.
Musk, who is usually present during major launches, was unable to attend after receiving two positive tests for the Coronavirus and showing slight symptoms of the virus.
NASA rules prohibit anyone from entering their facilities after testing positive, regardless of their position or role.
“When someone tests positive for Covid, here at the Kennedy Space Center and across NASA, it is our policy for that person to self-quarantine and self-isolate,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said before the launch.
Musk had previously questioned the legality of the results, claiming he had tested positive and negative for Covid-19 on Thursday.
“Something very fake is happening,” he wrote on Twitter. “Corona virus was tested four times today. Two tests came negative, two tests came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test.”
He later tweeted that he was “most likely” infected with a moderate case of Coronavirus.
Musk was mocked by some Twitter users, indicating that he had previously underestimated the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, Musk declared the “coronavirus pandemic is stupid.”
Since then, more than 11 million people have been infected and nearly a quarter of a million people have died from the virus in the US alone.
One Twitter user dubbed him “Space Karen” for his perceived obnoxious attitude towards the pandemic, which caused the term to trend across the platform.
Dr. Emma Bell responded to his tweet by stating that rapid antigen tests only reveal Covid-19 “when you are completely full of it.”
She tweeted, “The fake is that Space Karen didn’t read the test before complaining to his millions of followers.”