Friday, April 8, 2011



What a week! The shutdown we all hoped would never come to pass looks pathetically possible now. Republicans? Democrats? I care not about finger-pointing to this person or that, or what party is to blame for what issue. The point is, the budget has to be done by a certain time each year, and this isn't a surprise to any of the people in Congress. I see a lot of neckties who should be ashamed of themselves for their posturing, while thousands of workers hang in the balance.

Using troop pay as a bargaining chip? How did you people get elected, seriously. And that is only one issue of many that should never get caught in the crossfire when ideologues hold up government operations.

NASA Shutdown
A rather frightening memo was released by NASA's Office of the Administrator, detailing the space agency's shutdown plan. This is six pages of scary, and I hope there is no need for it to be implemented.

Of course, I had a completely different post lined up for today, but one cannot ignore the buzz all over the blogosphere and twitterverse. No one is paying attention to much else... and there certainly isn't anything else on the news! But then, when the largest economy in the history of planet Earth cannot get their act together, the alarmist coverage is to be expected. I hate to add to it, but I wanted to provide a resource for space enthusiasts to get straightforward answers about what a government shutdown means, specifically, to NASA.

Some of the basics unfortunately include:

• Discontinued Educational Support - NASA instructors will not report to schools.
• Tours and public access to NASA Centers and Facilities will be canceled.
• NASA Television and NASA websites will all close down.

Government Shutdown Affects NASA
NASA will protect life and property in all cases, but only a minimum of people are exempted from furlough. And yes, an extended shutdown would absolutely affect the launch of Shuttle Endeavour. Again.

There have been some very serious racing-around olympics this week, trying to ensure certain operational tasks are completed before Friday evening -- but frankly, I hope that by Saturday morning, I can delete this post and laugh about all this.

Well, perhaps not outright deletion -- I may keep it online for "blog history"!

Also in the news today? Russia accelerated funding for their moon base program. Sleep tight, anti-science Americans.