WASHINGTON — A partial government shutdown now nearly five weeks old is affecting a growing number of space companies and organizations as well as the agencies themselves shuttered by the lapse in funding.
Much of the federal government has been shut down since a continuing resolution, or stopgap appropriations bill, funding them lapsed Dec. 22. The shutdown, now the longest on record, affects NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among other agencies, furloughing most of their workforce and limiting them to essential operations only.
The shutdown is hindering activities of a number of companies and organizations that work with, need information or require approvals from affected agencies. In one case, Exos Aerospace, a Texas company that has already delayed a suborbital launch from New Mexico’s Spaceport America once because of the shutdown, said it’s pushing back that launch again because of effects of the shutdown.
In a Jan. 22 email, John Quinn, chief operating officer of Exos, said they were delaying the launch of their SARGE reusable sounding rocket from Feb. 9 to March 2. Quinn said that, because of the shutdown, they no longer have access to NOAA wind data that’s ...