It's NASA’s 55th birthday and all it got was a partial shutdown.
Worst birthday ever?
Officially recognized as a space exploration program on October 1, 1958, the space agency was forced to tell its “nonessential” workers to stay at home amid a lapse in funding due to a U.S. government shutdown. A majority of its day-to-day operations have been shuttered until further notice – including its website.
Rest assured, six astronauts currently orbiting Earth in the International Space Station will not be in the lurch as “essential” members on active missions will not be affected, according to a NASA shutdown plan submitted on Sept. 27.
Of NASA’s 18,250 employees, only 549 remained at work on Tuesday, CBS News reported.
The space agency tweeted goodbye messages on all official NASA-related accounts on Tuesday.
Due to the gov't shutdown, all public NASA activities/events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience.— NASA (@NASA) October 1, 2013
Twitter handlers for the Voyager 2 space probe's account crafted a snarkier response to the shutdown, tweeting “Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves” late Monday, CNN reported. Its account has since been suspended.
Another social media casualty: the space agency’s Instagram account has also been suspended until further notice.
Oh, and its asteroid watch too.
In the event of government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. We sincerely hope to resume tweets soon.— Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) October 1, 2013
One of those “nonessential” employees told to stay at home was engineer Bobak Ferdowsi (a.k.a. mohawk NASA guy) and he didn’t let the shutdown's blackout effect stop him from wishing a "happy birthday" to his employer.
Happy 55th @NASA! Since NASA is shutdown & I don’t have 5 mil followers to share with, please RT 5 mil times. Thanks.— Bobak Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) October 1, 2013
Here's how others wished NASA a "happy birthday":