As the government shutdown continues on unresolved, the effects of the people who are unable to get to work are becoming more and more obvious. As stated, 97% of NASA employees were furloughed, effectively ending almost all NASA operations accept those of current missions and the ISS. However, some of the employees furloughed weren’t even full time, but interns.

Interns at NASA Ames Research Center were not only left with no work to go to, but were also evicted from the dorms housing them. Some of them have little money and are stranded across the country far from their homes. Some of them have been offered shelter by current NASA employees though, and work continues to make sure all are safe while this shutdown continues.

To read more about some of the effects of the shut down on NASA and others, head here:

To tell Congress to stop wasting time and put NASA back to work. Take Action:

#thingsnasamighttweet On June 3, 1965 Edward H. White II became the first American to step outside his spacecraft and let go, effectively setting himself adrift in the zero gravity of space. For 23 minutes White floated and maneuvered himself around the Gemini spacecraft while logging 6500 miles during his orbital stroll. White was attached to the spacecraft by a 25 foot umbilical line and a 23-ft. tether line, both wrapped in gold tape to form one cord. In his right hand White carries a Hand Held Self Maneuvering Unit (HHSMU) which is used to move about the weightless environment of space. The visor of his helmet is gold plated to protect him from the unfiltered rays of the sun. #nasa #savenasa #nasahistory #space

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Yesterday, on its 55th anniversary, NASA was forced to furlough 97% of its workforce, more than any other federal agency, as a part of the government shutdown. Let your elected representatives know that NASA should not be carrying a disproportionate amount of the burden of a shutdown.

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Tell Congress To Put NASA Back To Work


It has been frustrating for furloughed NASA employees to not be able to work on their projects at all. Even if they aren’t getting paid many employees have expressed they would gladly work on it at home. In light of this NASA employees take a humble route by organizing a beach clean up. 30 employees from the Kennedy Space Center went to Cocoa beach to help remove cigarette buds, trash, and anything that is making it filthy.  

“We definitely want give back and we want to get back to work. We’re coworkers, and this is not sponsored by NASA. This is an informal gathering of colleagues and friends doing something positive for the community,” said NASA employee Margaret Truitt. The wait is still on and it could still be awhile until the shutdown is over. 

Seeing employees like these really tells you a lot about NASA and their culture. It’s the difference of going to work for the paycheque and going to work because you are excited to make a difference. 

Let’s take action today and help NASA get back to work.

Houston, we have a problem.

Are the astronauts currently living on board the International Space Station fighting for their lives?


The image you see here is a poster for the movie “Gravity,” in theaters now. Of course, a movie is just a movie, but that doesn’t mean NASA isn’t experiencing serious impacts from the government shutdown.

There are 6 astronauts in space at the moment, 2 of which are NASA astronauts.

After recognizing the irony that comes along with “Gravity” hitting theaters within the same few days as the government shutdown, here are the facts: 

The government is shutdown and NASA is experiencing the brunt of it. 97% of NASA employees have been furloughed (forced not to come to work with pay docked accordingly).

Their phone lines are down, as are the NASA website and many agency Twitter feeds. One of the few lines of communication that remain open is with the International Space Station, where six astronauts, including two from NASA, are still working in orbit. A skeleton crew remains at Mission Control in Houston, talking to the astronauts and trying to keep them occupied.

Thanks to researchers employed by the California Institute of Technology and other universities, Curiosity is still driving on Mars for the time being until funds run out. Some other projects are still going, including the soon-to-launch Mars-atmosphere spacecraft MAVEN. 

Hubble is still up-and-running and can be so for a few more weeks, but if the cash runs out, the scope will be aimlessly floating around until the Goddard Space Flight Center reopens.

This shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time. Now we need to save NASA from the shutdown in addition to fighting for the an increase in the administration’s budget.

NASA is important. Science and space exploration are essential to both current problems and the long-term survival of the human race. Help us spread the word. 

Take Action To Save NASA:

Tell Congress To End The NASA Shutdown

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On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I, the world’s first artificial satellite. Weighing a mere 183 pounds at the size of a basketball, it took 98 minutes to orbit the Earth.

Marking the dawn of the space age, Sputnik I’s launch gave way to unprecedented technological and scientific developments and triggered significant U.S. investments in space exploration.

Today, 97% of NASA’s employees have been furloughed as a part of the government shutdown.

Take Action To End The NASA Shutdown:

Tell Congress To Save NASA

For a video of Sputnik I’s launch:

NASA is back.

After 16 days of radio silence due to the just-ended U.S. federal government shutdown, NASA is back in action, and the space agency’s devoted online followers couldn’t be happier.

Last night, when it was announced that furloughed employees would be heading back to work this week, a rep for NASA wasted no time in getting out the good news, tweeting this from the main twitter account: “We’re back and in the process of turning things back on! and #NASA TV will be up as soon as possible!”
Many NASA employees are thanking the Twitter community for keeping conversations about the agency’s work going during the furlough by using the hashtag #ThingsNASAMightTweet.

While this is obviously great news, the fight is far from over. Just how much damage was done?

Well, earlier today, Phil Plait tweeted the following: 

“Keep this in mind: The shutdown cost the US as much money as NASA gets in a year, with two more Curiosity rovers thrown in.”

So while, again, it is great that NASA is back, we now need a stronger fight than ever to get them the budget that they rightfully deserve.

Take action:

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NASA employees barred from volunteering time during shutdown

It is well known by now the effect of the government shutdown on NASA has been large, with 97% of the workforce furloughed. What is lesser known likely is that as a result of the shutdown, NASA can’t afford anyone working on their projects even without pay. To put that another way, NASA employees cannot volunteer their time to work.

The kind of work NASA does is advancing the human race in many ways, and although there may be people at NASA that are only concerned with working to get a paycheck, Les Johnson of NASA claims they are the minority, and most NASA employees would gladly continue to work on their projects without pay if they could, but they aren’t even allowed to do that. NASA workers enjoy it so much that normally they do work on projects after hours without compensation anyway. Thus the shutdown has not just removed their pay, it has removed their purpose.

Let Congress know that we need to end this shutdown to save NASA, not just for the money, but because there is important work to be done.

To read more from Les Johnson on this issue, head here:

First, there was the budget cuts NASA received as a part of the sequester. Now, 97% of NASA’s workforce has been furloughed as a part of the government shutdown, more than any other federal agency. All of this because of intransigence in Congress. Let your elected representatives know that you want them to end the government shutdown and put NASA back to work.

Take Action Now To End The NASA Shutdown:

Tell Congress It’s Time To Put NASA Back To Work

Despite failing to orbit due to a launch vehicle malfunction, Pioneer 1 has served as an important milestone in NASA’s turbulent history, being the very first spacecraft launched from the then newly-formed space agency.

Launched on October 11th, 1958, Pioneer 1’s intended mission was to study ionizing radiation, micrometeorites, and several other properties surrounding the Earth and the Moon. Unfortunately, the spacecraft was only able to attain a ballistic trajectory and never was able to fully execute its intended purpose as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere after 43 hours of flight. That being said, the spacecraft was still able to salvage a small measure of scientific information demonstrating that radiation surrounding the Earth was in the form of bands in addition to capturing the first measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field and the density of micrometeorites.

Celebrate Pioneer 1’s 55th anniversary by telling Congress to end the government shutdown and put NASA back to work:

While the government shutdown is obviously having a massive effect on government agencies like NASA, it’s also indirectly affecting and hampering private companies and contractors that rely on and work with federal agencies. Take, for example, Houston, TX—known as “Space City” because of its massive connections to NASA. Now about 3,050 of the 3,150 employees at NASA’s Johnson Space Center been furloughed in the shutdown, hundreds of local contractors who also work with NASA have received the same treatment with the potential for even more to be affected at any day. Contractors are doing their best to prepare for the devastating effects of temporarily losing NASA, but the shutdown could put many of JSC’s plans “on hold until after the new year,” according to Tim Budzik, managing director of the JSC campus of the Houston Technology Center.

The technology center’s JSC campus is a “technology incubator” that works with 18 private companies that are using NASA to spinoff their own commercial technologies. Without NASA, many of these private companies are facing unavoidable and potentially devastating setbacks. Consider Waypoint 2 Space, a client of HTC and employer of seven people. The company had already obtained a Space Act Agreement with Jacobs Technology to use their technology used in training for space flights. Waypoint 2 Space was also on the verge of securing the necessary Space Act Agreement with NASA prior to the shutdown, which will likely be pushed back until next year. Without this agreement, Waypoint 2 Space cannot move forward with their development and could be set back a couple weeks for every week NASA is absent, says Budzik.

Budzik also says that this will make it less likely for future investors to partner with NASA as well, as they won’t want to work with an organization could shut down and leave them stranded. Current investors are also facing long-term delays in their technology developments as NASA will not be able to move as quickly as these private start ups once the shutdown is over. Small subcontractors such as Anadarko Industries are heavily reliant on cash flow from NASA as they are not large enough to have yet begun working with other clients. With many of these employees living paycheck to paycheck, the shutdown is creating a massive strain on not only the employee’s lives, but also the local economies.

Tell Congress to end the shutdown and stop hurting small business:

Read more about how the shutdown is affecting NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Houston:

In spite of being only 6 years old, Connor Johnson has made huge headlines the past week with his inspirational aspirations to ensure a promising future for NASA. Connor’s goal, as stated on his petition, is to increase the funding of NASA so that children will still be able to dream of exploring our universe. 

“My whole idea was writing off to the President and then I decided to give my whole piggy bank to NASA.”

Connor’s encouraging story has inspired many others as well – 18,091 to be exact at the time of this write-up – to make their voices heard regarding the uncertainty of NASA’s budgetary future. One of those signatures, however, is noteworthy simply because of who signed it. 

Eugene Cernan, Commander of Apollo 17 – and subsequently the last human being to ever walk on the surface of the moon – personally reached out to Connor Johnson to show his support after hearing his story. Cernan explained to young Connor that he too was once a little boy who wanted so dearly to become an astronaut, and that with a dream and hard work, anything is possible.

Hear a segment of Connor Johnson’s conversation with Eugene Cernan here:

For Connor’s petition to receive a response from the White House, it needs a minimum of 100,000 signatures by December 29th, 2013. Science funding will be the future of our country’s economical future. However, we must not forget about the inspirational effects NASA has had since 1958. With proper funding, this agency will continue to inspire future generations to reach for the stars.

Sign Connor Johnson’s petition here:

“We’re protesting against the shutdown, telling Congress to do their jobs,” NASA employee Bridget Broussard-Guidry said. “If we didn’t do our jobs, we would be fired.”

Thousands of furloughed NASA employees and contractors have been off the job since October 1st, due the government shutdown. However, many of them are still very busy. For the past two weeks, groups of NASA employees have organized to form demonstrations at NASA facilities across the United States. On the Facebook page for the “Pro-NASA demonstration”  this past week at the Ames Research Center, the theme of the protest was clear:

“A friendly and positive demonstration at NASA Ames Research Center - Employees, Contractors, Grantees, Co-workers and their Friends and Family are invited to show the public that we WANT to work for the common good - let us do our jobs!”

NASA contributes massive amounts of technological, economical and inspirational power to our society through various projects. A large majority of NASA’s technology geared towards space exploration has been adapted to be used here on Earth, known as NASA Spinoffs. The research and technological innovation which will lead to new NASA Spinoffs – and ultimately new jobs and a stronger economy – have halted due to this government shutdown.

Tell Congress it’s time to put NASA back to work.

View our NASA Spinoff Gallery on Tumblr:

The politics that put the U.S. government into a partial shutdown took a back seat to the physics of spaceflight when it came time for NASA’s LADEE spacecraft to put itself in orbit around the moon.

On September 6th, LADEE (The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) blasted off aboard a Minotaur 5 rocket from Wallops Island in the first leg of a roundabout, month-long journey to the moon.

Last Sunday, after circling the Earth three times, the spacecraft was was finally in position for a make-or-break engine firing to slow its speed so that it could be captured by the moon’s gravity. The maneuver could not be rescheduled for when furloughed government workers were back on the job.

LADEE will test a prototype laser communications system NASA is developing for future missions, including a Mars rover scheduled to launch in 2020, before it begins its science mission.

When its time, scientists want to position LADEE into a near-circular, 155-mile high orbit to probe the tenuous envelope of gases that surrounds the moon and look for electrically charged dust rising from the lunar surface.

While the LADEE team could not be furloughed because of the status of the mission, 97% of NASA is still inactive and the shutdown is stalling new research.

Let’s #SaveNASA.

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The government shutdown could result in enormous setback for NASA and taxpayers, according to a veteran astronaut.

“We’re losing time,” Tom Jones, a veteran of four spaceflights, told “It’s not going to endanger operations on the space station, but if it continues for more than a couple of weeks then you’re going to have a significant amount of lost time, productivity and planning for the next stage of space station research, for example.”

Read more here:

Take Action To End The NASA Shutdown:

On August 5th, 2011, Juno launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida to begin a five-year voyage to Jupiter in search of clues regarding the planet’s origins, atmospheric structure, and to determine if there are signs of a solid core.

Juno is a very large spacecraft and required more velocity to reach Jupiter than what was provided by the Atlas V rocket it launched on. To solve this issue, mission designers at NASA mapped a trajectory that uses the gravity of Earth as a slingshot. During the flyby of Earth on October 9th, Juno accelerated to speeds of 87,000 mph which ensure that the spacecraft will able to reach Jupiter by the July 4th, 2016 arrival date. These speeds will be the fastest any man-made object has ever traveled.

Join Bill Nye as he explains the Earth flyby:

Despite the flyby of Earth being a success, NASA scientists – the few still at work during the government shutdown – noticed that Juno was not transmitting data as expected, and the craft went into safe mode, a protective state Juno was designed to enter when a potential problem is detected. In spite of the government shutdown, which has furloughed 97% of NASA’s workforce, the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory remains on duty to monitor the spacecraft and to capture images from the perspective of Juno as it passed by Earth.

Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society is offering updates of Juno’s mission.

Tell Congress to end the government shutdown and put all of NASA back to work exploring our Solar System.

Dream Chaser tests delayed due to Shutdown

Of all the things that have been impacted as a result of the government shutdown, one silver lining has been that, while NASA is almost completely stalled, there are still several companies working in the private sector to open access to low-Earth orbit (LEO) for future manned flights. However, none of them are active in space flight yet beyond the SpaceX Dragon capsule and without NASA’s help, many of them cannot do anything but wait to continue development.

This is especially true of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser space plane. A plan to do a full free-flight test of the Dream Chaser on October 5th at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California had to be put on hold since the NASA facility has been closed. Sierra Nevada went to Dryden because it is the proper place for such testing, but now it has come back to haunt them. Luckily the company sees this as a simple delay and they will be back at it once the shutdown is over, and will continue to work on future plans for the Dream Chaser.

Clearly it is not just NASA projects that suffer while our government is out of commission. For the sake of NASA and all future spaceflight, let Congress know now why we need to save NASA by ending this shutdown as soon as possible.

Read more about the delay of Dream Chaser here:

#thingsnasamighttweet Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott sit with their spacecraft hatches open while awaiting the arrival of the recovery ship, the USS Leonard F. Mason after the successful completion of their Gemini VIII mission. They are assisted by USAF Pararescuemen Eldrige M. Neal, Larry D. Huyett, and Glenn M. Moore. The overhead view shows the Gemini 8 spacecraft with the yellow flotation collar attached to stabilize the spacecraft in choppy seas. The green marker dye is highly visible from the air and is used as a locating aid. #nasa #grin #spaceexploration #nasahistory #savenasa

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