It seems that the coronavirus epidemic is sparing almost no one. The economies of many countries are in an extremely difficult situation: many industries are undergoing a full-blown crisis, the exit from which will could be a long way out.
The aerospace industry, which is also beginning to feel the negative effects of the epidemic, did not take a pass.
Below we will talk about companies and organizations in the aerospace industry that are in hot water due to the coronavirus epidemic.
NASA has recently starting limiting the number of employees working on its various sites. Most of the company’s employees switched to remote work. After two employees of the organization became infected with the virus, the company transferred all eligible employees to mandatory remote work.
This led to massive delays in the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope. It is now planned that the launch of the telescope will be delayed until 2021.
In addition, there were great doubts about the timing of the launch of other projects of NASA, in particular the infamous mission to Mars, scheduled for July, as well as the the return mission to the moon.
According to media reports, Nevada-based Bigelow Aerospace has temporarily suspended all operations since March 23.
However, some experts suggest that the suspension of the company may be more protracted.
The European Space Agency (ESA) on March 24 announced that because of the coronavirus epidemic, four agency missions will be suspended.
The agency said that the Cluster spacecraft in orbit around the Earth, located in the orbit of Mars Trace Gas Orbiter and Mars Express, as well as Solar Orbiter, were put on standby, and all scientific research on them was also suspended.
However, other missions, which also require significant employee involvement, such as the BepiColombo spacecraft, which is heading into the orbit of Mercury, will continue to function.
The American company Rocket Lab, which launched the Electron rocket from New Zealand, has postponed the next launch, scheduled for March 30, due to the unfolding coronavirus epidemic.
California-based Virgin Orbit plans to launch rockets into space in the near future, said it had sent all of its employees to work remotely for at least one week following government recommendations.
However, the company itself notes that this setback is likely to affect the timing of its rocket launch.
Ilon Musk’s company continues to function, which caused criticism against the background of conflicting statements by Musk, in which he somewhat downplayed the danger of the epidemic.
SpaceX launched the sixth Starlink mission. As a result, the total number of satellites in orbit reached 360.
However, the company’s next mission, scheduled for March 30, was postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
In addition, according to recent reports, two SpaceX employees received a positive coronavirus test result, which led the company to send a number of employees to work remotely.
British satellite company OneWeb is facing big challenges. Last week, the company filed for bankruptcy with a court in the US state of New York.
And if Earlier OneWeb planned to create a constellation of satellites that would allow providing broadband Internet access for users around the world thanks to the full coverage of the Earth’s surface, now these plans have come under attack.
It is noted that the company’s satellites are launched by Russian Soyuz launch vehicles from the Baikonur, Vostochny and Kuru cosmodromes.