NASA Engineer Tests Positive For COVID-19, Suspends Moon Mission

James Marshall
March 23, 2020

Stating that there are a lot of questions about one of NASA's most important missions, James Webb Space Telescope, Zurbuchen also stated that this mission is one of his priorities and of course affected by the coronavirus.

"We realize there will be impacts to NASA missions, but as our teams work to analyze the full picture and reduce risks we understand that our top priority is the health and safety of the NASA workforce", Bridenstine said. "We're all affected by this, all of our missions are affected by this", Zurbuchen said.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, NASA did its first assessment to determine the mission-critical work that requires personals onsite, the work that can be done by employees remote in the safety of their home, and the projects that can be paused.

Bridenstine continued: "Space exploration has been an economic driver for the USA economy, creating tens of thousands of jobs, reducing our trade deficit, and inspiring countless Americans to pursue careers in STEM fields".

Following the framework, NASA will temporarily shut down two of its rocket testing and production centers in the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the nearby Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. "Once this is complete, personnel allowed on site will be limited to those needed to protect life and critical infrastructure", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement released on Thursday.

NASA said it has suspended work on building and testing the rocket and capsule for its Artemis crewed mission to the Moon due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the community.

NASA will hopefully launch the Mars 2020 rover this year, depending on how the COVID-19 outbreak plays out, which will explore the Red Planet as preparation for humanity's arrival, which could happen in the next decade.

As many NASA centers switch to mandatory telework to confront the spread of COVID-19, NASA leadership acknowledged that prized science missions may suffer delays and that the agency was prepared to make that trade in order to keep its employees safe.

However, the fate of the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, slated to launch in March 2021, is up in the air.

According to NASA, the decision to suspend work on the James Webb Space Telescope could change as the situation evolves in a week.

It's been revealed that the discussion took second place on the agenda. The meeting will be convened at a later date, said Dr. Scott Pace, deputy assistant to the President and executive secretary of the National Space Council, in a statement emailed to Fox News.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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