NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity Put To Sleep During Gov’t Shutdown

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October 1, 2013 9:12 a.m.

NASA’s Curiosity rover will be put into a “protective” sleep and “no new data gathering will take place” for as long as the U.S. government shutdown lasts, NASA spokesperson Allard Beutel told the International Business Times on Monday.

The news comes less than a week after the Curiosity rover discovered that the surface soil on Mars contains 2 percent water by weight, or roughly 2 pints of water in every cubic foot.

The Hubble Space Telescope will also be affected by the shutdown: the instrument will continue to take pictures in space, but there will be no one in to analyze the images until the shutdown ends and staff are allowed to return to work, the Independent reported.

Only 549 of NASA’s 18,250 employees are at work today, according to CBS News.

This post has been updated.

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