We had hoped to be sharing highlights with you this week from NASA’s Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop, which was scheduled to run this September 30 to October 2 at the Lunar Planetary Institute, in Houston, Texas. But that’s not the case anymore.
Most of NASA was shut down when the US Congress failed to fund its federal government beyond the end of the current fiscal year at midnight this past Monday (Sept. 30). Some programs, like the ISS, are exempt from the shutdown in order to ensure the safety of human and physical resources. However, while ISS astronauts and mission crew back on earth will continue to clock in, 97% of NASA employees are at home today. According to the Planetary Society, other independently operated programs under contract to NASA, such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (operated by Caltech) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (operated by John Hopkins University) will continue to operate for the time being.