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NASA closes centers, halts some work because of coronavirus pandemic
Posted: Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 11:53 AM ET (1553 GMT)
NASA NASA has suspended work on some major programs and closed centers because of the coronavirus pandemic. NASA announced Tuesday that it was instituting mandatory telework at all of its field centers, allowing only mission-essential personnel on site. By Thursday, the agency announced it was effectively closing the Michoud Assembly Facility and Stennis Space Center because of concerns about community spread of the disease, including one Stennis employee who tested positive. That decision will halt work on SLS and Orion production and testing at the two centers, including preparations for the Green Run static-fire test later this year at Stennis. NASA said Friday it was halting work on the integration and testing of the James Webb Space Telescope at a Northrop Grumman facility. However, preparations continue for the launch of the Mars 2020 spacecraft scheduled for July. NASA officials said they consider that mission a high priority since it has a narrow launch window that, if it misses, will delay it until 2022.
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