Government Shutdown Totally Messin' With Space Shuttle Launch

The government will possibly shutdown tonight at midnight, and you've surely read about how this will affect your life. Tax refunds may be delayed, which is annoying, but the IRS is good for it, right? National parks will close, but everyone knows Yosemite doesn't get poppin' till late May. Many museums will also be shuttered, but whatever, those dinosaur bones aren't even real dinosaur bones, just moulds (total B.S., we know). What we're trying to say is: You'll make it through this. Unless you're an astronaut, because the shutdown may delay or completely cancel the impending space shuttle launch.

BoingBoing picked up a memo from NASA that essentially says that if Congress and the White House can't come to an agreement about the budget, all planned operations will be delayed indefinitely. Astronauts currently orbiting earth in the International Space Station will still be supplied with all the space cakes and Tang they need, but things like April 29's Endeavour launch (the second-to-last ever mission of the space shuttle program) will have to be scrapped.

You can read NASA's "furlough plan" here.

How are things going with privatized space travel, you ask? If this video of two Virgin Galactic spacecrafts elegantly zipping around San Francisco is any indication, things are going pretty well (video via BoingBoing as well):

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US government shutdown could mean Space Shuttle launch delay [BoingBoing]

[ngreene@villagevoice.com / @nickgreene]


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