10/01/2013 09:31 EDT | Updated 10/01/2013 09:35 EDT

NASA Celebrates 55th Birthday With U.S. Government Shutdown

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.

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.

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.

Here's how others wished NASA a "happy birthday":

Photo gallery NASA Birthday Wishes See Gallery