Wednesday, 2 October 2013

NASA mission's still operating.......for now.

Yesterday was the day we had all be waiting for, the day Ison made it's closest approach to Mars. With 16 NASA craft pointing at Ison we were expecting some of the most in depth comet data ever to come streaming in, along with the possibility of the first ever image of a comet from another planet, supplied by the Mars Curiosity Rover!

Unfortunately for reasons we don't quite understand, the U.S government has gone in to shutdown, which in turn has affected NASA. Just as we were expecting the data to come streaming in, NASA went offline.
Anyone visiting NASA's home page will be greeted with the following page.....

The message shown on NASA's Homepage

But don't worry, NASA has not completely shutdown, all Mars missions are still operating!
Our source tell us that all missions that are operated  by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Applied Physics Laboratory are still running. These missions include Curiosity, Opportunity, Odyssey, MRO, Cassini, Dawn, Juno, Spitzer, Wise Messenger, New Horizons, the Deep Space Network and all Voyager missions.

JPL is not part of NASA, they are run by the California Institute of Technology, while APL is part of the Johns Hopkins University. Although the organisations will not receive any money from NASA, both have enough funds to keep the missions operating for the time being. JPL and APL have cut all non-essential services in an effort to keep the missions running, but admit that they will be reviewing the situation on a weekly basis.

While it is great news that the missions are still operating, at least for now, there is of course a knock-on effect for the mission updates. NASA requires both JPL and APL to submit all press release's to them so NASA headquarters can review them before publication, as NASA is directly affected by the US government shutdown this will not be happening.
We hope this problem can be sorted out quickly and we will keep you update on any developments as soon as we hear.

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