With no foreseeable budget compromise in the immediate future, the U.S. government is currently heading towards a likely shutdown, where many federal agencies will have to place the majority of their employees on furlough; the government term for temporary unpaid leave. The furlough would apply to about 800,000 employees, while more than a million others would be asked to go to work without pay. The standoff turns out to significantly affect many different agencies and its employees.
For one, this directly affects 97% of NASA’s employees with the 3% being the International Space Station scientists and those monitoring them in mission control. In the meantime, the Curiosity rover project will be put on pause along with all other data-gathering projects related to Mars. The rest of NASA’s projects, including its many probes and Hubble Space Telescope, will still be running, but no one will be around to analyze the incoming data until government resumes. The next major federal agency to be affected by the shutdown is the many parks and recreation departments around the nation with 72,562 employees unable to go to work this Tuesday. In Arizona alone, the national parks, including the Grand Canyon, would ask its visitors to leave immediately and the tourism loss is estimated at $2.7 million a day. It doesn’t stop there, the NY Times provides a much more detailed list on every agency affected by the shutdown and the unfortunate reality is that there is no clear end to this budget confrontation that all seemingly stems back to a healthcare law that passed three years ago.