NASA has suspended work on the James Webb Space Telescope as it prioritizes what agency missions require people to be on site during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement March 20, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said NASA had completed an assessment of work across the agency, deciding which projects are essential enough to require people to go to NASA centers or other facilities to work on them.
“We are going to take care of our people. That’s our first priority,” said Bridenstine. “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 [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] 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.”