During the new coronavirus pandemic, NASA sent all of its staff home at its centers across the U.S.,media reported. It was learned that the agency had forced all staff to work from home after staff detected the new coronavirus. NASA had to shut down most of its employees about a week ago after a staff member at the Ames Research Center tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Earlier this week, another NASA worker tested positive, this time at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. At the time, NASA upgraded all its workplaces to Stage 2, forcing the agency’s staff to work from home as much as possible. The agency has now upgraded the level to Stage 3, which requires staff to work from home.
In a memo to all NASA center staff, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine noted that only those on important missions can come to work at the center, and all others can only work from home.
Mr Bridenstein said NASA’s decision was a positive step in the hope of ensuring the safety of staff and preventing as many infections as possible. “Although only a few staff members tested positive for the new coronavirus, we must preemptively prevent further transmission of the virus among employees and communities. I strongly recommend that you and your family follow all local, state, and federal guidelines for health and help slow the spread of the virus. “
It is not clear whether the ongoing public health crisis will affect any NASA mission in the short or long term. ESA has already announced plans to reschedule some launches as a result of the public health event, and it is understood that ExoMars, which was originally scheduled to launch this summer, has been postponed until 2022.