The POT has been forced to suspend production and testing of its moon rocket and capsule, due to the proliferation of cases of coronavirus in the geographical environment of the facilities where both the SLS launcher and the Orion capsule are manufactured.
The mandatory telecommuting it is in effect for NASA personnel, beginning March 20 and until further notice, at the Michoud assembly facility (Louisiana) and at the Stennis space center (Mississippi). Access to both venues will be limited to the personnel required to maintain the security of the center.
In addition, all trips are suspended. “These steps are being taken to help delay the transmission of Covid-19 and protect our communitiess, “agency administrator Jim Bridenstine explained in a statement.
“We realize there will be impacts on NASA missions, but as our teams work to analyze the whole picture and reduce risks, we understand that our main priority is health and safety of the NASA workforce, “he added.
“There is no better team prepared to do difficult things. Take care of yourself, your family and your NASA team,” emphasizes Bridenstine.
The first SLS rocket flight with the capsule Orion It is planned for the second half of 2021, within the framework of the Artemis Program, which aims to bring astronauts to the Moon in 2024.