NASA stops work on Moon rocket after employee tests positive for coronavirus

Katie Ramirez
March 21, 2020

While Bridenstine noted there would be "impacts to NASA missions" due to the closures, including to work on the Orion spacecraft - created to bring American astronauts to the Moon by 2024 - he said the health of personnel remained a "top priority".

When the world stops: The spread of the Coronavirus in the United States led tonight (Thursday to Friday) to close two NASA facilities - and the USA plan to return to the moon by 2024 is expected to be hit.

Since both Michoud and Stennis are essential for the production of NASA's Space Launch System or the SLS, production on the agency's next big rocket is also halted.

Although it seems NASA is ready to proceed with the launch of the mission in May, the agency noted that the schedule of the event could still change depending on the country's current situation.

NASA will temporarily suspend production and testing of Space Launch System and Orion hardware.

This could delay NASA's mission to send astronauts to the Moon in 2024.

But NASA's Stennis center and the Michoud Assembly Facility were elevated on Thursday to Stage 4, the highest level calling for a temporary shutdown, after an employee was diagnosed with the virus. NASA has not decided if it will require another test flight before sending astronauts aloft in the Starliner capsule.

Trudeau reaches out to airlines for help bringing Canadians stranded overseas home
Remaining U.S. destinations will include New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the airline said. Air Canada will cease all flights at the Kamloops Airport (YKA) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, although the latest release on the mission notes a spring launch, officials have also made clear that adjustments may be made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The release, which primarily alerted members of the press that the U.S. space agency was opening its media accreditation for the event, further noted that the historic launch would take place on Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA's Artemis program aims to bring the first woman and the next man to the moon.

The tech entrepreneur's company will launch a Falcon 9 rocket to transport the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in a first for the space agency as it looks to cut costs.

Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before.

The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons.

The upcoming launch is part of SpaceX's commercial partnership with NASA.

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