The effects of the U.S. federal government shutdown are threatening to ripple out into the solar system.
NASA’s next mission to Mars, due to launch next month, is in danger of being delayed. Only three per cent of
97 per cent of Nasa’s 18,000 employees have been forced to take unpaid leave about the time when the agency was to celebrate its 55 birthday, making it the government body most affected by the current American budget crisis.
“We are just inside of seven weeks to launch and we are shut down,”
The project, known as
If it misses that opportunity, the team will have to wait more than two years for their next chance to launch, according to Jakosky, a planetary scientist at the
Large parts of the U.S. government began shutting down early Tuesday, and there is so far little sign of a solution to the political crisis that caused the stoppages.
The shutdown has already had an effect on preparations for the Mars mission, with a launch dress rehearsal and mission readiness review cancelled this week, Jakosky said.
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