GOOD NEWS! MOST OF NASA’S PLANETARY MISSIONS ARE STILL OPERATING!
That’s because they’re run from JPL or APL, privately run facilities that are under contract to NASA. So missions that won’t be affected by the shutdown include all the important ones like Curiosity; Opportunity; Odyssey; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; Cassini; Dawn; Juno; Spitzer; the Voyagers; WISE; MESSENGER and New Horizons, amongst others. Given the size of that list, I’d like to see a list of missions that are affected!
For those of you who were unsure as to what is closed for now and what isn’t, CNN has provided a comprehensive, albeit long, and descriptive list of what government services and agencies are closed, partially closed, and open here: http://tinyurl.com/qbf4k84.
You can also find a list of general services affected here: http://tinyurl.com/ozbs4w3, and here: http://tinyurl.com/l4gbhlu.
A Jupiter-Io Montage from New Horizons
Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins U. APL, SWRI
"As the New Horizons spacecraft sweeps through the Solar System, it is taking breathtaking images of the planets. In February of last year, New Horizons passed Jupiter and the ever-active Jovian moon Io. In this montage, Jupiter was captured in three bands of infrared light making the Great Red Spot look white. Complex hurricane-like ovals, swirls, and planet-ringing bands are visible in Jupiter’s complex atmosphere. Io is digitally superposed in natural color. Fortuitously, a plume was emanating from Io’s volcano Tvashtar. Frost and sulfuric lava cover the volcanic moon, while red-glowing lava is visible beneath the blue sunlight-scattering plume. The robotic New Horizons spacecraft is on track to arrive at Pluto in 2015.”