As members of Congress still get paid amid a federal shutdown, humanity’s loyal robot friend on Mars will wait in hibernation.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars Curiosity Rover will lie in hibernation on the Red Planet for the duration of the government shutdown, the Providence Journal reports.
Curiosity is parked due to 97 percent of NASA being furloughed, the publication reports, meaning that no crews are available to operate the rover.
NASA announced on Sept. 26 that Curiosity had found water molecules chemically bound to “fine-grained soil particles on Mars. The water molecules account for approximately 2 percent of the particle’s weight.”
The U.S. government shutdown was initiated on NASA’s 55th birthday, Oct. 1.
According to an email to The Daily Caller from an engineer working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Caltech, the Mars rovers are still operational. Employees at the JPL are contractors, said the engineer, not civil servants.