NASA froze a manned mission to the moon due to the coronavirus. This is stated in the message of the agency.
The space agency temporarily froze the development and assembly of two key elements of the Artemis program – the superheavy SLS carrier and the Orion spacecraft. The timing of freezing the project is still unknown.
Earlier, several employees with a positive coronavirus test were found in the Mishoud assembly center and the John Stennis Space Center, whose specialists are involved in the mission. In addition, American doctors recorded an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 among people who live nearby with these centers.
The Artemis program was supposed to start in the first half of 2021. Then the Orion ship was supposed to perform an unmanned flight to the Moon, and in 2022 – along with the crew.
At the same time, NASA is not the first to postpone the launch of the Artemis mission. Initially, the first flight to the moon of the Orion spacecraft was scheduled for 2014, and the crew was supposed to land on a satellite in 2019.