A government shut down has been warned as possibly taking place tomorrow in light of budget agreement troubles within Congress. If such a shut down does take place, a myriad of individuals and agencies will feel the effects, not the least of which is NASA. On Friday, the space agency detailed plans it has in place should the day turn over without a spending bill compromise.
The information comes from NASA itself in a write up detailing its plans, which it sent to the Office of Management and Budget this past Friday. In the plans, NASA says that most of its employees — which totals in the range of 18,000 — will stop working, but some (less than 600) will stay at the helm to keep its property safe and to support those at the International Space Station.
While any spacecraft that are already out on their respective missions will continue to be maintained, missions that are planned but have not yet seen a launch will be effectively shelved. Each project will need to be stopped in its own timeline, with NASA saying the duration is dependent on the requirements of the project and the safety involved.
“To protect the life of the crew as well as the assets themselves, we would continue to support planned operations of the ISS during any funding hiatus. Moreover, NASA will be closely monitoring the impact of an extended shutdown to determine if crew transportation or cargo resupply services are required to mitigate imminent threats to life and property on the ISS or other areas.”