European interplanetary probes came out with “quarantine”

The European space Agency has resumed normal operations by the Mars orbital spacecraft “Mars-Express” and ExoMars, solar Orbiter and Solar probe near-earth spacecraft Cluster II. Previously, these probes were removed in safe mode because of a case of coronavirus infection in a staff member from the mission control center, according to ESA.

The pandemic of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 seriously affected the activities of the aerospace agencies and enterprises from many countries, including the European space Agency, which transferred most of its specialists at the remote operation, leaving only a few of them in their places. However, the deterioration of the situation, and also the first case of infection with coronavirus employee of the European space operations centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, who before diagnosis had to patentactivation with 20 of his colleagues, forced the Agency to urgently suspend the operation of four programs on the exploration of the Solar system and send employees to the quarantine.

After all the buildings and working premises were thoroughly disinfected, and none of the staff in quarantine not manifested signs of the disease, it was decided to resume all work and withdraw from the safe mode four probe Cluster IIexploring the Earth’s magnetosphere, flying to the Sun Solar Orbiter, the Mars orbital station “Mars-Express” and the probe Trace Gas Orbiter, which is part of then-European program “ExoMars-2016”. This is about a week earlier than expected — one of the leaders of the “ExoMars” Oleg Korablev said earlier N+1that the work of the probes in safe mode may last until April 11.

Currently, the work of the center has stabilized, however, the staff periodically come to your place, operate in isolation and minimal interaction with each other. Now all the attention of specialists is focused on the BepiColombo interplanetary station, which is on the way to mercury and 10 April has to make a critical gravity assist trajectory from the Earth to adjust trajectory.

Previously we described how the pandemic was stopped working gravitational-wave observatories LIGO and Virgo are also telescopes at the European southern Observatory. In addition,n and European developers moved for 2022 launch the next mission “Eczemas”: then landing platform with the European Rover. One of the reasons for migration were also mentioned pandemic coronavirus.

Alexander Voytyuk

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