Medicine
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:0
NASA Shuts Down 2 More Rocket Facilities After Engineer Tests Positive for Covid-19, in 'Major Setback' to 2024 Moon Flight Hopes
TEHRAN (FNA)- NASA announced the closure of two rocket production and testing centers after an engineer at one facility contracted the coronavirus, potentially shattering the ambitious dream of a manned Moon mission in 2024.

Both the Stennis Space Center in Southern Mississippi and the Michoud Assembly Facility about 40 miles away in New Orleans will halt operations, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement on Thursday, RT reported.

The move was called for by “Stage 4” of NASA’s disaster response guidelines, which recommend full closures for facilities under emergency conditions.

“The change at Stennis was made due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community around the center ... and one confirmed case among our Stennis team,” Bridenstine wrote, adding “While there are no confirmed cases at Michoud, the facility is moving to Stage 4 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the local area.”

"The NASA and contractors teams will complete an orderly shutdown that puts all hardware in a safe condition until work can resume," Bridenstine added.

For now, access to both centers will be limited to skeleton crews, the bare minimum needed to keep the high-tech facilities secure, with all previously approved projects on hold until further notice.

While Bridenstine noted there would be “impacts to NASA missions” due to the closures, including to work on the Orion spacecraft – designed to bring American astronauts to the Moon by 2024 – he said the health of personnel remained a “top priority”.

The agency’s Ames Research Center in California has also been shuttered under a Stage 4 order after another employee tested positive for Covid-19 last week, while a number of other facilities – including Houston’s Johnson Space Center – have been moved to Stage 3, limiting the number of workers and other staff allowed on site amid the viral outbreak.

 

 

 

 

Bottom top
‘Washington Has No Idea About Who It Deals with': Erdogan Brushes Off US Criticism over S-400

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that Ankara does not intend to abandon the S-400 missile systems purchased from Russia.
‘Rigged Election?’ Trump Seizes on Biden's Latest Gaffe, Boasting About 'Most Extensive, Inclusive VOTER FRAUD' Organization

TEHRAN (FNA)- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's remark that his party has created “the most extensive voter fraud organization” has reinforced the former VP’s “gaffe-machine” status, giving the Republicans a free gotcha moment.
Iran Reports 6,191 New COVID-19 Cases

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian health ministry announced on Sunday that 6,191 new cases of coronavirus infection have been reported across the country during the past 24 hours, adding that 296 patients have passed away in the same period of time.
GC Spokesman: Iran Not Interested in US Presidential Election

TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council Abbasali Kadkhodayee underlined that the Islamic Republic is not interested in interfering in the US presidential election, and blasted the media hype by the West in this regard.
Pakistan PM: French President Encouraged Islamophobia

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Pakistani prime minster added his voice to the growing criticism of the French president for "encouraging Islamophobia" following the killing of a teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to his pupils.
Biden Gains as Suburban Women, Elderly Voters Look to Dump Trump

TEHRAN (FNA)- Joe Biden’s hopes of reaching the White House could rest on two crucial demographic groups that appear to be deserting President Donald Trump: elderly people and suburban women.
Iranian Army Conducts Military Drills along Northwestern Borders

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Army Ground Force units staged a one-day drill along the country's Northwestern border regions on Sunday.
Iran Calls for Broadening of Bilateral Ties with Bolivia

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for the expansion of mutual cooperation with Bolivia in different fields.
Officials: Top al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Eastern Afghanistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior al-Qaeda commander has been killed by Afghan security forces in the central city of Ghazni, security officials said.
COVID-19: Italy Reports Highest Single-Day Spike

TEHRAN (FNA)- Italy reported 19,644 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic.
IRGC Commander Warns against Geopolitical Border Change in Regions Around Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Islamic Revolution Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said any threat that harms people’s security and calm will receive Iran’s countermeasure, but further warned that his country would not tolerate any change in the geopolitical borders in regions close to Iran.
Palestinian Groups Condemn Macron’s Defense of Anti-Islam Cartoons

TEHRAN (FNA)- Palestinian resistance groups based in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip have blasted French President Emmanuel Macron for defending offensive cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Iran Condemns Terrorist Attack in Afghanistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned a terrorist attack in Afghanistan, saying that the Afghan students have fallen victim to the ugly violence and unending war they had never chosen.
Iran: Arbitrary Detention of Palestinians by Israel Should Stop

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the Zionist regime’s unjust imprisonment of hundreds of Palestinians, urging the immediate release of hunger striker Maher Al-Akhras.
350kg of Opium Seized in Central Iran in 4 Operations

TEHRAN (FNA)- Police forces of the Central Province of Yazd confiscated 350 kg of illegal drugs in four separate operations, according to the local police commander Brigadier General Abbas Ali Behdani Fard.