NASA is shutting down its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The space launch system rocket is being built there. They also plan to shut down Stennis Space Center. (As per administrator Jim Bridenstine).
“The change at Stennis was made due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community around the center, the number of self-isolation cases within our workforce there, and one confirmed case among our Stennis team,” he said.
NASA is to temporarily suspend the production and testing of space launch systems and Orion hardware. NASA and contract teams will orderly shut down the hardware to put them in a safe mode, so the work can resume once the problem is settled.
“We realize there will be impacts on NASA missions, but as our teams work to analyze the full picture and reduce risks we understand that our top priority is the health and safety of the NASA workforce,” Bridenstine said.
A crewed return to Moon is the first part of Artemis. The purpose is to test technologies to colonize Mars in 2030.