Because of the “crisis of the American government” expected first launch of a heavy launch vehicle SpaceX Falcon Heavy, which was supposed to happen until the end of January this year, has been postponed indefinitely. The fact that the U.S. Congress has not yet found General agreement on the budget for 2018, so the work of all Federal programs was suspended. And we are talking about the present cessation of work of state institutions, the suspension of the planned programs, as well as sending many government employees on unpaid leave.
Such incidents in the United States occur quite often and are very costly to the state Treasury. For example, the last such crisis occurred in 2013 and caused losses to the United States $ 24 billion. In General, over the last 40 years, the country has witnessed more than ten such “government defaults”. It should be noted that this affects not only state agencies but also private companies like SpaceX in this case.
Site the Verge reports that the government shutdown has delayed a test launch of the carrier rocket sverhtyazhelaya class Falcon Heavy.
“This event affected the demonstration rocket launch Falcon Heavy from SpaceX, which bears critical importance for future space missions,” The Verge quotes the words of the representative of the company SpaceX John Taylor.
In the 45th space wing of the U.S. air force said that because of the crisis the government is forced to dismiss from the work of the staff, without which the Agency will not be able to support commercial launches.
“Due to the cessation of work and as a consequence of the absence of local key personnel to the 45th space wing are not yet able to support static checks at Kennedy Space center. In addition, deferred all scheduled runs”.
In this NASA stated that two of the planned release of ISS astronauts into space in January and February will still take place. Similar missions will take place in time without changes.
According to Western media, not all government institutions have suspended their work. Still working postal service, various medical facilities, security, police, and state legal body. The last so do, apparently, all soon will have to work harder than normal to eventually settle all the bureaucratic delays that impede the adoption of the new budget.
Static tests of the rocket engine SpaceX Merlin
As for SpaceX, the launch of superheavy carrier rocket, the Falcon Heavy should be for the company the starting point for reaching a new level of space exploration. Previously Elon Musk said that within the framework of the planned launch, his company will send into space its own red electric Tesla Roadster, the cabin is where you will play the song of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. When it will this launch is unknown. The new budget, the US Congress is certainly in the end still will, but when it happens – is unclear.
At the same time, SpaceX noted that this delay has affected not only the launch of Falcon Heavy, but also the development of private commercial orders of the company.
“The shutdown has affected the implementation of the important missions for our customers, including orders of our important international partners, which launches from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg air force Base was planned to be implemented in the near future. Came under attack, and future missions to supply the International space station,” said Taylor.