Two Space Centres Shut by NASA Due to COVID-19

To help deter coronavirus spread, NASA is closing down two space centres. The U.S. space agency announces it stops the construction at its New Orleans Michoud facility where a Moon rocket, or Space Launch System, is to built. The Mississippi Stennis Space Center, where the rocket booster is being tested, is also to be temporarily closed.

This could postpone NASA’s 2024 goal of sending astronauts to the Moon. The United States currently has over 11,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, along with one documented case at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.

The delays would impact the development and testing of the Space Launch System and Orion, the crew capsule that will carry the astronauts to the Moon. Beginning of the end of 2024, NASA had set a target of the next Moon landing. A test flight may also postpone until after 2021 without any astronauts on board.

Another NASA facility, Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, is in service today. It is the location of the rover Perseverance. It expects to travel to Mars in summer. This is to watch for signs of ancient life and gather samples of rock and soil.

Apart from this, most NASA workers and contractors requires to telework. It facilities of the agency switched to a higher level of warning Tuesday in response to concerns about coronaviruses.

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