Throughout the weekend, Jim Bridenstine, who is the administrator of NASA, requested the nearly 17,000 employees of the agency to work from home and if their jobs permitted it. However, on Tuesday evening of March 17, he declared it an order.
Bridenstine stated in an update that all the agency employees and contractors would with immediate effect move to a compulsory teleport until further communications. He added that the Mission-essential staff would continue with permission to onsite access, he urged employees to contact their supervisors immediately if they have any questions.
Bridenstine stated that the NASA response to the Coronavirus up to date had protected the space organization against the worst impacts of the pandemic.
Bridenstine explained that the action elevates all research centers and facilities of NASA to Stage 3 of the organization’s “response framework.” He added that two organization centers already were at Stage 3: Marshall Space Flight Center located in Alabama and Ames Research Center located in Silicon Valley, both centers had workers test positive for the COVID-19.
Bridenstine stressed that bringing the other centers of NASA up to Stage 3 does not mean that the virus is spreading rampantly through the organization.
Bridenstine stated that though a partial amount of workers diagnosed with COVID-19, it is imperative that they embrace that preemptive step to prevent further spread of the virus amongst the employees and their communities.
The reply structure only goes up to Stage 4. At that last stage, zero exceptions made for the mission-essential workforce; all facilities of NASA are shut, except to guard life and serious infrastructure with the suspension of all travels.
The health experts stressed that as on Tuesday evening, there were nearly 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases all over the world and almost 8,000 deaths, according to a report from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. However, those figures are likely to get much higher in the forthcoming weeks.
The NASA news aired on Tuesday revealed that the outbreak already has a critical effect on the space industry. Several senior spaceflight and astronomy conferences have been postponed, canceled, or shifted to online mode only. Travel boundaries emplaced to sluggish the spread of the virus might have contributed to the setback of a European-Russian Red Planet mission from the year 2020 to 2022.