The partial government shutdown that shuttered NASA continues with no end in sight. The U.S. space program sits idle, the vast majority of its workforce sent home. Space science and exploration projects are disrupted. Paychecks are absent. And an unsettling realization has dawned on hundreds of thousands of public employees and contractors affected by the shutdown: this time is different.
John Culberson, an 8-term Texas Republican and staunch supporter the search for life on Europa, lost his re-election bid last week. His support for Europa was attacked by opponents and could send a chilling political message about the consequences of supporting space science and exploration.
On 7 September, down the street from the NAFTA meetings in Washington D.C., the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a meeting of many thought leaders from both countries to discuss a point of uncertainty in the Canada-United States relationship: collaboration in space.
Though progress is being made on Mars Sample Return, a new report from the National Academies recommends NASA have a long-term plan for robotic Mars exploration, and work to ensure communications infrastructure is maintained at the Red Planet. These recommendations largely align with those made by The Planetary Society in a report released in 2017.