Despite an initial report to the contrary, humanity’s robot friends on Mars continued to rove around the Red Planet during the recent government shutdown.
The Providence Journal first reported on Oct. 1 that the government shutdown would hamper the National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s (NASA) interplanetary research, including the Mars Curiosity rover.
But Erich Brandeau, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told The Daily Caller in an email that the Mars Rovers were still operational during the shutdown.
“The Mars Rovers are not stopped because of the government shutdown,” said Brandeau. ”In fact, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which operates the Mars Rovers, is part of Caltech; all of the employees at JPL are contractors for NASA, not civil servants.”
Curiosity continued to send images back from Mars as well, he noted.
On Thursday evening, Congress approved a bill to raise the debt ceiling and end the 16-day-long government shutdown.