http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT_Nff9h-ikpBmYnuLhwfpdK-WHfRbmlQkiLRqCaAdrWrSjx7hXGaW1RwBy . From Antarctic research tracking climate change to telescopes mapping the Milky Way, some research will be permanently lost even if lawmakers end the U.S. government shutdown immediately. Operation IceBridge, a NASA research project mapping changes to polar ice like this in the Antarctic Ocean, is at risk of losing valuable data unless the U.S. fiscal crisis is resolved soon.
Ottawa is not where Kevin Charles had planned to be on Thursday. The Canadian geophysicist was supposed to fly to New Zealand and on to Antarctica as part of Operation IceBridge, a NASA research project that is mapping changes to polar ice partly as a result of climate change. Because of the U.S. government shutdown, Charles and 50 other scientists and technicians are grounded, their research on pause while lawmakers duke it out in Washington, D.C. The window for Antarctic study is short — the team now tentatively hopes to depart on Oct. 31, shaving two weeks off a six-week experiment. More...