The Government of the United States of America just got shut down for the third time during this year. Now, as a result of this, a number of NASA employees will have to stay back at home. The shutdown in a partial manner had gone into effect on Saturday, the 22nd December at midnight. It was right after the White House and Congress failed to shoot out an agreement on funding. The officials of the agency recently explained that most of the persons in NASA will be granted the leave of absence till any such type of an agreement is reached. Most is surely an understatement with around 95 per cent of NASA employees will not be able to go for work.
Still, there is no reason for panic. There are people, who are anything but the employees of NASA. Those people include all those folks responsible for keeping the people of NASA and its property absolutely safe from any kind of threat. Property basically means all those including the present operational spacecraft along with the data that they collect. Hence, the operations that take place inside the International Space Station will carry on in the same manner, like it was done before. Moreover, even NASA will not have to cancel important spaceflight event that is coming up, like the OSIRIS-Rex probe’s 31st December orbital insertion around the asteroid Bennu. There is yet another event, wherein the New Horizons spacecraft will flyby of the distant object Ultimo Thule on 1st January.
No one will be able to keep watch on the missions and discoveries of NASA as closely as they would have liked. The people who are responsible for running NASA TV and also in keeping the website of the agency stay updated will be granted the leave of absence for the whole duration of the shutdown. One thing is still not clear as to for how long will this go on. If the recent history is anything to go by, then it gives enough reason to think that things will get back to normal very soon. The two shutdowns, which had taken place prior to this on January and February this year, had lasted for less than 72 hours.