COVID-19 Bill Includes $60M For NASA

KSC Vehicle Assembly Building.
Credit: NASA

The U.S. Congress on March 27 passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill—the largest aid package in U.S. history—intended to help individuals and businesses mitigate the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Relief Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) legislation was approved by the Senate on March 26 and by the House a day later. It was sent to President Donald Trump quickly signed the bill. 

CARES includes $60 million for NASA to “prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally.”

As of March 27, half of NASA’s 18 facilities were shut down entirely and the other half open only for mission-critical operations that could not be accomplished off-site. “Our highest priority as an agency is your health and your safety,” NASA Administrator told employees during a March 25 virtual town hall.

NASA  is working with other federal agencies to parlay applicable technology, such as 3D printing and life-support equipment, into ventilators and other equipment to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Irene Klotz

Irene Klotz is Senior Space Editor for Aviation Week, based in Cape Canaveral. Before joining Aviation Week in 2017, Irene spent 25 years as a wire service reporter covering human and robotic spaceflight, commercial space, astronomy, science and technology for Reuters and United Press International.