NASA said it has suspended work on developing and screening the rocket and capsule for its Artemis crewed mission to the Moon due to the growing selection of coronavirus scenarios in the local community.
The area agency is shutting down its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the Place Launch Procedure rocket is becoming constructed, and the nearby Stennis Place Middle, administrator Jim Bridenstine said late Thursday.
“The adjust at Stennis was created due to the growing selection of COVID-19 scenarios in the local community about the middle, the selection of self-isolation scenarios within just our workforce there, and 1 confirmed circumstance amid our Stennis staff,” he said.
“NASA will quickly suspend generation and screening of Place Launch Procedure and Orion hardware. The NASA and contractors teams will total an orderly shutdown that places all hardware in a secure ailment until finally work can resume.”
The Place Launch Procedure is a highly effective deep area rocket to transport astronauts to the Moon and beyond although Orion is the crew module.
The virus outbreak could hit US designs to return to the Moon by 2024.
“We notice there will be impacts to NASA missions, but as our teams work to review the full picture and minimize threats we recognize that our top rated precedence is the wellness and security of the NASA workforce,” Bridenstine said.
A crewed return to the Moon is the initial part of the Artemis software to set up a extensive-expression colony and take a look at technologies for a crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s.
© Agence France-Presse