SpaceX COO outlines SpaceX’s Covid-19 response, placing distinction with Elon Musk

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Shotwell’s feedback struck a really totally different tone than SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has taken on Twitter currently, the place he has repeatedly expressed his perception that the USA’ coronavirus response is overblown and shared misinformation about its menace.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine final month asked spectators not to crowd Florida’s beaches and viewing websites alongside Florida’s Area Coast to look at SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft hurtle towards the ISS, as they’ve for the launch of almost each crewed US mission since Alan Shepard grew to become the primary American to achieve area in 1961.
NASA has additionally halted most of its main packages because it seeks to maintain staff protected. Most of its ongoing work is said to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon mission or its new Mars rover, nicknamed Perserverance, which should launch this summer time earlier than the planet strikes too removed from Earth.
SpaceX iitself has stayed largely silent about coronavirus, aside from Musk’s tweets. The corporate has kept up work on its main tasks — together with launching batches of satellites into area in its effort to construct a multibillion-dollar telecom enterprise, and testing early prototypes of a futuristic spacecraft, Starship, which Musk hopes will carry individuals to the moon or Mars.

Shotwell’s remarks Friday marked the primary time the corporate has publicly shared particulars about its response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, who’re regularly at SpaceX services for coaching, are sporting masks and gloves and are permitted to be round solely “important personnel,” Shotwell mentioned. SpaceX can be cleansing the coaching services twice a day, she added.

At the very least half of the corporate’s engineering workers is working from residence, she mentioned, and workers who should be hands-on at SpaceX services are sporting masks, practising social distancing pointers and having their temperatures taken.

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“We’re nothing if our workers aren’t in nice well being and and capable of work with a transparent thoughts,” Shotwell instructed reporters throughout a Friday press convention about SpaceX’s Crew Dragon launch later this month.

SpaceX’s crewed mission, slated for May 27, will mark NASA’s first human spaceflight launch from US soil in almost a decade. Bridenstine mentioned NASA and SpaceX are pushing ahead with the mission amid the pandemic as a result of it is important to keep up regular operations on board the Worldwide Area Station, the place a rotation of astronauts has lived since 2000.

It would even be the primary crewed mission for SpaceX since its founding 18 years in the past.

“It’s a disgrace that extra individuals are not going to have the ability to take pleasure in it in, in Florida,” Shotwell mentioned. “Nevertheless, it’s the proper factor to do. Watch it from residence, watch it on-line, watch, watch it on TV.”

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