Suspension of Space Activities

The European Space Agency announced that it would be putting 8 of its spacecrafts into ‘hibernation’ in light of the COVID-19 situation leading to a scaling down of operations.

About ESA

ESA or European Space Agency (also ASE) is an intergovernmental space research and exploration organisation established in 1975 by the ESA Convention. It has 22 member states. It is headquartered in Paris. Some of its noted programs include the Copernicus, Galileo, ExoMars, etc.

Hibernation

The ESA had scaled its operation down and is limiting its staff on site due to the ongoing pandemic. The hibernation of the spacecrafts is expected to only have a negligible impact on the missions. The 8 spacecrafts that are being put into hibernation includes the Cluster Mission of 2000, ExoMars Mission of 2016, Mars Express of 2003 and last month’s Solar Orbiter Mission.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

Elsewhere, USA’s NASA is also suspending some of its activities. The work on James Webb Space Telescope- touted to be the successor of the Hubble Space Telescope has also been suspended. It is scheduled to be launched in 2021.

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