SpaceX has to date managed to keep away from a lot in the way in which of influence to its upcoming launch schedule, regardless of the widespread international coronavirus pandemic. The corporate successfully launched 60 extra of its Starlink satellites simply final week, and seems to be on observe for its present mid-to-late Might launch schedule for the primary Industrial Crew mission with NASA (pending an investigation into what went wrong with an early engine cut-off during its last launch).
On Tuesday, nevertheless, the Air Pressure’s 45th House Wing confirmed that the timing for SpaceX’s upcoming SAOCOM launch, which was set to take off from Vandenberg Air Pressure base in California on March 30 utilizing a Falcon 9 rocket, has been placed on “indefinite” maintain as a result of influence of the present coronavirus disaster. Vandenberg has declared a public well being emergency as of this previous weekend, and whereas there are not any confirmed circumstances of COVID-19 on the bottom to date, the Air Pressure is limiting entry to important personnel, and offering solely important providers, along with taking further precautions to guard the protection of those that have to stay on web site.
It was inevitable that SpaceX launches and schedules can be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: Already, NASA has needed to pause work on a few of its ongoing precedence missions, together with growth of the Artemis program deep-space exploration spacecraft, and its James Webb Telescope venture. Whereas work continues on the Industrial Crew launch for now, NASA has been offering frequent updates about escalating measures to make sure the protection of its personnel and the general public, slo we’ll preserve you updated on any further developments.