October 1, 2013 8:30 pm

Happy 55th Birthday, NASA – Surprise!

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

We’re not going to get political here.

But we did want to recognize NASA’s birthday 55 years ago, on October 1, 1958. And for those of you concerned that the government shutdown will result in satellites falling from the sky, astronauts dying from neglect, and space telescopes spinning wildly, no longer under the control of their earthbound masters, never fear.

Apparently, NASA submitted a plan for the shutdown to the Office of Management and Budget, but, unfortunately, that plan is hosted on NASA’s website, which we can’t access because the site is down due to the government shutdown.

However, Forbes was a bit smarter than I am, and did their homework in advance. They report that according to the plan, “Ongoing space operations for satellites and other space assets in orbit will also continue, as NASA’s shutdown plan provides continued support in order to protect the government from losing its property. But work on any planned missions will pretty much stop.”

They also report that the astronauts aboard the International Space Station will be fine, quoting NASA, “To protect the life of the crew, as well as the assets themselves, we would continue to support planned operations of the ISS during any planned funding hiatus.”

Of course, the 97% of NASA employees that aren’t astronauts on the ISS or involved in ongoing operations, a number exceeding 17,000 people, that’s a different story.

So Happy Birthday, NASA. I’d sing you a song and send you a birthday cake, but there’d be nobody around to hear it, and the cake would just get stale.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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