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US Government Shutdown Won’t Thwart NASA’s Maven Orbiter Journey to Mars

NASA’s Maven orbiter journey to Mars would stay immune to the US government shutdown. The launch of Maven orbiter would not be affected and the release would happen on November 16, as decided.

After the space agency was granted $650 million for the mission, thus, placing it under the exception to the federal government’s shutdown list, the workers concerned flexed their muscles for the launch.

The updates from NASA states that all those workers who were furloughed or locked out have come back. Nearly 250 people are currently part of the mission.

The University of Colorado planetary scientist Bruce Jakosky has said that the project has regained its previous pace. The team is back to facilities where the spacecraft and the development team would be working for the preparations of the launch. However, Jakosky has not mentioned the number of workers who were furloughed and all those who were called back to the project.

As per the details provided NASA, the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution (Maven mission) is crafted to pore through Mars' upper atmosphere to find out an answer to the enigma of water on the Red Planet. The mission would start from Nov. 18 to mid-December.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Odyssey will play a significant role in communication relays. It harbours communication equipment and the launch is expected to preserve its ability to communicate.

Earlier, it was speculated that the mission may miss its launch, and if the same would have happened then the opportunity would not have fallen in its hands till 2016. The reason attributed to the same by the scientists is the orbital mechanics.

Bruce Jakosky has said that if the grant would have delayed for a week, the launch would have been endangered. He dubbed the grant as bittersweet victory by saying, "I'll be honest, there's a little bit of a 'bittersweet victory' thing because we know there are still 800,000 people out there who are still furloughed."