The government shutdown has grounded rocket launches and put thousands of people on the Space Coast out of work.
- NASA workers given furloughs
- 85 percent of NASA workforce not paid
- Shutdown also affects SpaceX
- RELATED: Government shutdown: Senators OK spending bill, send it to House
Kennedy Space Center employees are still being asked to report to work Monday.
The Senate passed a bipartisan plan Monday afternoon to end the government shutdown, but the House still needs to approve it.
However, because there was no agreement in Washington on Friday, NASA started an orderly closeout of activities. That meant furloughs for thousands working at the Kennedy Space Center.
NASA personnel spent Monday shutting down activities and prepping for the hiatus. But one thing is for sure: Until the bipartisan spending bill passes the House and is approved by President Donald Trump, area launch pads will be dormant.
Agency wide, NASA expects 85 percent of its workforce will not be paid during the shutdown. Of the 1,970 employees who work at the Kennedy Space Center, only 38 would be exempt.
Those numbers do not include the thousands of contractors who will be left without work.
Employees involved in activities that protect life and property will still stay on the job. Workers include those supporting the astronauts living on board the International Space Station.
That means astronaut Scott Tingle will remain on the job. He is on the International Space Station and tweeted a photo Sunday of him preparing for a spacewalk Tuesday.
The shutdown also impacts the thousands at Patrick Air Force Base and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
All employees of the 45th Space Wing are being asked to report to work as normal Monday. And just like at the space center, an orderly shutdown will take place and official furlough notifications will be handed out.
Without Air Force or NASA employees, SpaceX will not be able to conduct a static fire test of its Falcon Heavy rocket, which was planned to take place this week. Tentatively set for the end of January, the test is put on hold indefinitely.
The 45th Space Wing, which oversees launches and the Eastern Range, confirmed, "due to the shutdown removing key members of the civilian workforce, the 45th Space Wing will not be able to support commercial static fires taking place on KSC. Without our civilian workforce, the 45th SW is unable to support launch operations as well."
Last Friday night's blastoff of an Atlas V rocket came just a few hours before the Congressional impasse was announced.
As the weekend went on, it was clear that no more launches would happen from the Space Coast.
"We remain hopeful that the Congress will quickly resolve their differences and put our partners in the Air Force and NASA back to doing their important work as soon as possible. This shutdown impacts SpaceX's Falcon Heavy demonstration, which is critical for future NSS missions," said SpaceX spokesperson John Taylor.
He also added: "It also impacts critical missions for our customers, including important international allies scheduled to launch shortly from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base, as well as upcoming missions this spring to resupply the International Space Station."
Dale Ketcham of Space Florida, the state's aerospace authority, said this latest shutdown only magnifies why the state could lose launches and billions of dollars' worth of commercial launches to private launch facilities in Texas and Georgia.
"It exacerbates the disadvantage Florida is in to rely on the federal government to manage a commercial spaceport," Ketcham said.
Congressman Bill Posey of Rockledge voted to avoid the shutdown on Friday and said "the longer the federal government remains shutdown, the bigger the risk of creating a scheduling backlog for launches and loss of morale for military personnel, their families and employees."
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will remain open during the shutdown, however some of its bus tours may be impacted by the shutdown.
#KennedySpaceCenter Bus Tour Update Saturday 12 noon: The KSC Bus Tour is currently available, though Special Interest Tours are not during government shutdown. All other attractions are open and available with daily admission. pic.twitter.com/Z9GQ5Us7pM— Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (@ExploreSpaceKSC) January 20, 2018