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NASA Weekly Update from the Administrator – May 18, 2020

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, May 18, 2020

NASA Weekly Update – May 18, 2020
 
Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley recently began their routine prelaunch quarantine in preparation for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch next week. After years of preparation and hard work by countless  individuals on our team, we are just around the corner from accomplishing an extraordinary milestone. 
 
  • Top News: Last Friday, May 15, I announced the Artemis Accords agreements – a set of principles that will help ensure international cooperation in space exploration and secure a peaceful, transparent, and safe future for all. Building on already established norms, these bilateral agreements will enable all nations who wish to join us in exploring the Moon and beyond, to do so in a mutually beneficial and productive way.
 
  • Next Up: Tomorrow, Tuesday May 19, NASA Headquarters will host the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. I am excited to report on Artemis program milestones including our recent awarding of Human Landing System contracts, and provide updates on the Commercial Crew Program and its upcoming first crewed test flight.
 
  • Shout Out: The NASA and Northrop Grumman team successfully stowed for the first time our James Webb Space Telescope into the same configuration it will have when launched next year. This progress is great news and even more impressive that the milestone was achieved despite the challenges incurred by the pandemic. Keep up the great work. I am confident this telescope’s discoveries will rewrite textbooks on the mysteries of the universe.
 
Last week, our team at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi resumed limited preparations for Green Run testing on the Space Launch System rocket’s core stage (pictured below). While Stennis remains at Stage 4 of NASA’s Framework for Return to On-Site Work, I am proud of our team’s efforts to effectively perform mission-essential work while following all recommended measures to keep the team and their families safe and healthy.
 
Ad astra,
Jim Bridenstine

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