Government shutdown delays SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test fire

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Government shutdowns are never a particularly pleasant experience. The suspension of certain government programs and the furlough of numerous non-essential government employees are just a couple examples of this.

That said, private companies are usually unaffected. This time around, though, the shutdown will have an impact on SpaceX's operations, according to The Verge.

While the company initially planned to test fire their Falcon Heavy rocket on January 10, those plans have been repeatedly delayed with a final test date initially set for January 20. Unfortunately, due to the lack of government support, the test fire has been put on hold indefinitely.

"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," SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said in a statement. "It also impacts critical missions for our customers, including important international allies scheduled to launch shortly from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base..."

"All SpaceX launches that require government assistance will be delayed, including critical International Space Station supply deliveries."

Ordinarily, SpaceX would work together with members of the Air Force's 45th Space Wing to ensure launches go smoothly and safety protocols are followed - an impossible task at the moment, according to a Space Wing spokesperson. "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."

Unfortunately for SpaceX, it's not just the test fire that's being put on hold. All SpaceX launches that require government assistance will be delayed, including critical International Space Station supply deliveries. If the government shutdown runs longer than a few weeks, it could present serious problems for the company.

A bill that could provide temporary government funding is set to be voted on today by the Senate. The vote, if it passes, could buy SpaceX some time but it's still only a temporary fix. As previously stated, Congress will need to come to an agreement for things to truly return to business as usual for the company.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Here's an interesting development. Since NASA "charges" for use of their launch pad a delay would incumber for costs; but since it is the government that is causing the delay, SpaceX has a right to charge them daily ...... care to guess who wins?
 
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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Here's an interesting development. Since NASA "charges" for use of their launch pad a delay would incumber for costs; but since it is the government that is causing the delay, SpaceX has a right to charge them daily ...... care to guess who wins?
SpaceX is going to win because the politicians don't care about our money unless it's lining their pockets. So, yeah, SpaceX will win but don't forget who allowed the money go into their pockets.
 

GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
Is the income I make during a government shutdown still taxable?
The IRS is still semi functional during a shutdown, hence why our shut downs aren't really shutdowns. Imagine being the employees that are required to go to work with no pay guaranteed.
 

hk2000

TS Booster
I would love to see a permanent shutdown that spares us the wasted $Billions used up by NASA on this *****ic idea of space travel using a century old energy source, not to mention pretending to be a developed race ready for space travel while over 50% of the world population is in utter poverty!
 

Badvok

TS Maniac
I would love to see a permanent shutdown that spares us the wasted $Billions used up by NASA on this *****ic idea of space travel using a century old energy source, not to mention pretending to be a developed race ready for space travel while over 50% of the world population is in utter poverty!
It is estimated that each dollar of NASA spending is a catalyst for $10 of economic benefit. Whether or not that economic benefit is distributed to other countries and the poor is a totally separate issue.
 
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frostyshield

TS Booster
You two might wanna look into what the space program and NASA developed that helped get things to where they are today. Its spending that we could use and need.

Or are you two forgetting money isnt a thing anymore? its just numbers on a spreadsheet exactly like the "national debt" that mysteriously isn't being paid back like we would have to pay.