Coronavirus hasn’t forced NASA to push back next Mars rover yet

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, NASA stated it currently has no ideas to thrust again the start of its Perseverance rover to Mars, Fox News has acquired.

“We are proactively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) problem, and have plans in spot to handle problems as they occur,” NASA spokesman Allard Beutel stated in an e mail to Fox News. “Currently, the coronavirus has not impacted the Mars Perseverance rover launch preps, and function is continuing on agenda.”

NASA, which a short while ago renamed the rover to Perseverance, will launch the rover on July 17, 2020. This rover will attempt to detect if there is any fossilized proof of extraterrestrial beings, in addition to other jobs.

The U.S. room agency’s announcement will come immediately after the European Place Company and Russian house company Roscosmos stated they would back again its impending ExoMars mission, which had also been scheduled for July 2020.

The businesses explained the selection to postpone the start of the Rosalind Franklin rover was designed thanks in element to supplemental screening and problems that the novel coronavirus could influence the availability of staff desired to work and retain the rover.

“We have built a complicated but very well-weighed conclusion to postpone the start to 2022,” stated Roscosmos Director Standard Dmitry Rogozin in a statement. “It is driven largely by the require to maximise the robustness of all ExoMars units as perfectly as drive majeure situation similar to exacerbation of the epidemiological predicament in Europe which left our specialists virtually no risk to proceed with travels to lover industries.”

Whilst there are no “current” strategies to drive back again the Perseverance rover’s mission, which is anticipated to land on the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021, NASA is also dealing with altered plans because of COVID-19.

Earlier this 7 days, NASA current its get the job done-from-house strategies just after an worker at NASA’s Ames Study Center tested positive for the virus.

Ames Research Centre remains on obligatory telework and restricted accessibility as a result of at least March 13.

The authorities company included that “all do the job-related journey is canceled for the week of March 9, and long term vacation will be reviewed on an specific basis.”

“NASA is coordinating with the White House, Condition Division, and other federal businesses and officers, and has fashioned an inside, multi-business working team that will address issues as they arise,” Beutel added in the email, stating the house agency will “follow assistance from the Facilities for Illness Regulate and Prevention and the agency’s Chief Wellbeing and Health-related Officer, and converse that advice to its workforce as it will become offered.”

The moment Perseverance lands on Mars, it will join the even now working Curiosity rover and the now-deceased Chance rover on the Crimson World. In contrast to Curiosity or Option, this rover will have the “first helicopter that will fly on an additional world,” NASA added.

NASA’s extended-term objective is to send out a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.

COVID-19 has contaminated 132,567 folks around the earth, up 5.6 per cent from Thursday. 4-thousand nine hundred forty-7 men and women have died from the virus.