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NASA Weekly Update from the Administrator – April 20, 2020

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, April 20, 2020

Our agency’s efforts to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and continue our mission are very impressive. Our Perseverance Mars rover is making final steps to launch this summer, mission schedules for the first human launches in the Commercial Crew Program are being set, and our OSIRIS-REx team completed the first practice run for landing the spacecraft on the asteroid Bennu despite the added difficulty of working remotely. The work we are doing is inspiring.
 
  • Top News: The countdown has begun! Last Friday, I announced that on May 27, NASA with our partners at SpaceX will launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil for the first time in nearly a decade. NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken will launch to the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon spacecraft on the Falcon 9 rocket. This is a monumental milestone for our Commercial Crew Program that will truly signal the start of a new era of human spaceflight.
 
  • Next Up: This week we will celebrate two important anniversaries that have benefited humanity tremendously. This Wednesday, April 22, nations around the world will mark the 50th Earth Day. NASA Earth science over the past five decades has helped us protect and better understand our beautiful planet. Celebrate with us virtually this Earth Day!
 
This Friday, April 24, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope will mark 30 years of exploration! Hubble has transformed our understanding of the universe. This trailblazing instrument has fed humanity’s curiosity and empowered us to think more deeply on the mysteries of the universe. Although our planned in person celebrations have been postponed, I encourage you to revisit Hubble’s groundbreaking discoveries over the last three decades, and keep an eye out for something special on Friday’s anniversary.
 
  • Shout Out: Last week, NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir completed exceptional missions aboard the International Space Station. They conducted hundreds of science experiments and both participated in multiple spacewalks vital to the health of the station. These important missions are expanding the boundaries of human knowledge and preparing us to launch farther into the solar system than ever before. The smiles on Andrew and Jessica in these photos below perfectly capture the joy of spaceflight.
 
The ingenuity and teamwork displayed by our NASA family during this pandemic will stand as an exemplary model for organizations that face unprecedented health emergencies. I am so proud of all that you have done and will yet do to help our nation heal and ensure our mission continues.   
 
Ad astra,
Jim Bridenstine

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