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China adapted plans but maintains preparations to launch rocket

With the Asian country returning to normal, after experiencing the outbreak of COVID-19, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) sees no reason to cancel the test launch of the Long March 5B cargo rocket, which will transport a ship state-of-the-art Chinese space.

The measures established by the Chinese government to contain the new Coronavrus have interfered with initial plans, but have not forced to suspend preparations for the launch. To deal with the epidemic outbreak, we have stipulated a minimum number of personnel who could fulfill the task with the same high standards of work required, said Yang Qing, head of the design team for the new generation manned spacecraft, in Chinese television statements.

The manned spacecraft, for the time being prototype, was designed to travel to deep space, namely in view of future lunar missions.

In addition to overcoming the outbreak of COVID-19, the Long March 5B mission also continues despite the recent failure of testing with the Long March 7, another modular design rocket, 7A.

The launch of the Long March 5B is currently scheduled for the second half of April, from the Wenchang base.

NASA and SpaceX have also announced that they are maintaining plans for Crew Dragon's first manned test. The initial date for carrying out the tests was set for May 7, but the US space agency opened the period a little more for the second half of the month. The space agency is attentive to the development of the coronavirus pandemic, but for now it is the cause of more delays.