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Nasa has completed the first coronavirus (Covid-19) impact assessment of work underway across all missions, projects and programmes.

The move is part of the agency’s plan to protect and preserve the health and safety of its workforce amid the pandemic.

The assessment was to determine which tasks can be done remotely by employees at home, and mission-essential work that is required to be carried out on-site, and work that will be halted.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “We are going to take care of our people. That’s our first priority.

“Technology allows us to do a lot of what we need to do remotely, but, where hands-on work is required, it is difficult or impossible to comply with CDC guidelines while processing spaceflight hardware, and where we can’t safely do that we’re going to have to suspend work and focus on the mission-critical activities.”

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Launch and preparation for Nasa’s Mars 2020 mission, which is a priority for the agency, will continue.

The agency has suspended integration and testing operations performed by James Webb Space Telescope team in California.

Artemis programme will also continue with limited manufacture work related to hardware and software for Nasa’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

The agency noted that it majorly remains in Stage 3 status except for Ames, Michoud, and Stennis which are at Stage 4.

The agency’s leadership will continuously check and evaluate the Covid-19 situation in the nation and take guidance from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and local and state health officials.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread to over 160 countries. Confirmed cases of Covid-19 have crossed 330,000 while more than 14,000 deaths have been reported across the world.