NASA Hit Hard by Shutdown; Astronauts Goofing OffOrbiting with all the time in the world on their hands, astronauts take to Twitter
One of the International Space Station's most prolific Tweet-posters, U.S. astronaut Karen Nyberg -- clearly killing time -- uploaded this selfie, entitled "Say cheese!" on Thurs., Oct. 3, 2013. (@AstroKarenN)
The budget deadlock in D.C. has had all kinds of nasty repercussions -- shuttered national parks, the suspension of Head Start, the halting of the Centers for Disease Control flu programs -- but, more than any other government agency, NASA has been gutted.
As of Tues., Oct. 1, 2013, the majority of the space agency's employees have been told to stay home. Unfortunately for two of NASA's highest-profile workers, astronauts Karen Nyberg and Mike Hopkins, not going to work is impossible.
Orbiting the Earth at about 250 miles high, the two U.S. International Space Station reps are in touch with a skeleton crew at mission control in Houston, but their official duties have been suspended.
And, though NASA's official Twitter feeds have been shut down, the pair has continued to post photos on their private accounts. Hopkins put up a meandering dispatch about watching clouds on Weds., Oct. 2, and Nyberg posted the goofy self-portrait shown above. Clearly, they're both missing their duties.
Hopefully, for the sake of the astronauts' sanity, and all the important work they have to do, Washington will settle the dispute before things really get wacky.
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