For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – NASA and the nation continue to deal with the ever expanding fallout from the deadly coronavirus COVOD-19 pandemic. Below is the newest update from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on April 2.
Specifically related to NASA, some missions like the International Space Station (ISS) including the upcoming Soyuz crew launch on April 9 with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy continue on as they must in order to maintain critical hardware and the safety and lives of the astronauts and cosmonauts on board.
The SpaceX Dragon 1st crewed launch is also proceeding forward targeting a launch perhaps in mid to late May or this summer
Preparations for launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover also continue at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to try and achieve the narrow 3 week launch window that only opens every 26 months.
Some such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are concluding critical milestones like deployment testing of the primary mirror before grinding to a virtual halt. Read our story.
Others such as the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket preparations for the ‘Green Run’ full duration engine test have ground to a halt.
Here is the latest message from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
April 2, 2020
Message From NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine: Adjusting to the Temporary “New Normal”
It’s been just over two weeks since NASA transitioned, as an agency, into Stage 3 of its coronavirus (COVID-19) response framework. In that time, several facilities have moved into Stage 4 due to on-site COVID-19 cases and/or an increasing number of cases in their surrounding communities. Marshall Space Flight Center recently became the latest to move to Stage 4.
Approximately 75% of our workforce is now working from home – some in home offices, some at the kitchen table. Some of us have taken over the dining room, or other room that, just weeks ago, had been a shared space for family, friends, roommates, etc. I want to thank everyone who supports a NASA employee on the home front.
Administrator Bridenstine Message for NASA Employees
In addition to doing all we can to keep the workforce safe, a top priority of senior leadership also is to keep you informed. To that end, we took the top unanswered questions from the Ask the Administrator event on March 25 and had four of our many outstanding leaders answer them in short videos. These videos answer the questions:
• How does contact tracing work?
• Why Stage 3? Stage 4? What about “stay at home” orders?
• How do I care for my family while working at home?
• What if my PIV card expires? (or is damaged/lost)
You can also watch these videos all in one place – the NASA People website.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected.
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Starlink, Solar Orbiter, In-Flight Abort, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events