The US government shutdown did not only affect the economy, but also puts the entire life of US citizens at peril. With the shutdown, which affected NASA, the decision becomes a battle of life and ideology.
Early, before the shutdown, the crew in-charge of the Voyager 2 space probe said their final farewells to the human race and asked them to sort out whatever might happen by ourselves. They knew, as a government agency, that they were not immune to the government shutdown. They also knew that money was incomparable to the services they render. Little wonder, then, why they asked us the question, if an asteroid starts hurtling toward Earth, what can we do? They knew the answer and knew that we cannot really do anything about it. So, they have nothing better to tell us than to wish us good luck and that was, indeed, a heavy good luck.
The NASA office has the responsibility of tracking and reporting asteroids, especially those ones that could threaten the planet. For instance, they detected the 150-foot chunk of space rock which came closer to Earth than the moon in February.
But, this issue of life was never the bother of the Republicans. The Republicans have one clear idea in their mind: we don’t want Obamacare. To achieve this, their ideology, they have to use all the constitutional tools within their grasps, which shutting down the government was among. An angle they barely looked at was the deadly toll it has to the NASA agency, and the masses in general. 97 percent of NASA workers were affected and they are jobless until further notice.
President Obama acknowledged the impact shutting down the government had not only had on NASA workers, but to the general population. According to him, the House Republicans should try to reopen the government. They should restart the public services Americans depend on. By doing this, they have allow the public servants who have been sent home to return to work. Furthermore, he noted that this could only happen if Republicans realize that they should not hold the entire economy hostage just because of ideological demands.
The saddest news to NASA was that the shutdown and subsequent furlough of workers, came the day they ought to be celebrating NASA’s 55th birthday. It is on this 55th birthday that 97 percent of the staff cannot work. Among those who were affected, in the agency, were those that make sure that the internet service was kept abreast of potential asteroids hazardous to us on earth.
In fact, certain people, one could say, that are currently working in the agency are those people in-charge and responsible for the safe operation of satellites, as well as the international space station. Other activities, that include the protection of life and property, according to the NASA, also plans to have workers through the shutdown. In this category, one can include a few ongoing research projects.
The Republicans should, for the sake of life and safety of people, look for other means of continuing their battle of ideology, instead of a government shutdown.
By Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso