Government shutdown stalls NASA research

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
Font Size:

Research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is among the numerous areas of taxpayer-funded research affected by the federal government shutdown.

Research at NASA facilities, agency-organized events, and research about conditions on other planets have all come to a standstill since the shutdown, Space.com reports.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 747 airplane outfitted with a telescope capable of observing Jupiter’s moon Europa, is grounded due to the shutdown.

“Of course we have collaborators all over the country and it’s an international project with major German collaboration from the German Space Agency,” said NASA researcher Lee Stone , according to Space.com.

“The flights are grounded, so all of that potential was lost,” said Stone.

Mars Curiosity rover is another one of the many projects to be affected by the shutdown. The rover is parked in hibernation on the Red Planet until Congressional funding is restored.

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.

This article has been updated.

Follow Josh on Twitter and Facebook