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How the closure of the government would affect NASA

With the US government UU Just hours from a potential closure as lawmakers struggle to agree on a new spending bill, more than 18,000 NASA employees nationwide are preparing for the agency to temporarily close as well.

If Congress does not approve a continuous resolution before 12:01 a.m. EST (0501 GMT) on Saturday, almost all NASA employees, along with the majority of the federal workforce, will be suspended, their jobs will be suspended without payment. Only those employees whose work is considered critical to protecting the health and safety of humans or property will be exempt from the permit, according to NASA officials in the agency's official plan for a government shutdown.

For example, a close will not leave the three NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) high and dry. "ISS operations will continue with critical personnel," said Kenneth Todd, manager of integration of NASA's ISS operations, during a briefing on Thursday (January 18), in which he discussed two upcoming spacewalks that the astronauts of the NASA will perform on January 23 and January. 29. [In Photos: President Donald Trump and NASA]

It is expected that these two spacewalks will continue in accordance with the plan, regardless of the closure of the government. However, if the government is still not working when those spacewalks are made, people on Earth will not be able to watch live transmissions of spacewalks on NASA television or online, ABC13 reports because that would require "non-essential" personnel relegated to be present at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston.

And do not expect astronauts to tweet interesting images of space during the shutdown, which are also posted through employees at JSC, ABC reports.

NASA employees who are licensed may or may not receive paid time off work, since "the payment on these days will depend on future assignments," explains the NASA closure plan. You can read a PDF of the complete plan, which NASA sent to the Office of Management and Budget of the White House on November 30, 2017, here: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/ files /171130_revised_shutdown_plan.pdf

Send email to Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow it @hannekescience . Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook and Google+ . Original article in Space.com .

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