Private space launch company SpaceX is the latest victim of the Democrat-led government shutdown.
Elon Musk’s rocket company had planned to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket by the end of January and had rescheduled a test for today in preparation for the launch, but the furlough of government workers has caused the test to be canceled.
“This shutdown impacts SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy demonstration, which is critical for future [national security space] missions,” John Taylor, a SpaceX spokesperson, said in a statement.
SpaceX has been readying the Falcon Heavy vehicle for a static fire test on launchpad LC-39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, but that test won’t happen today because the Air Force cannot supply the necessary personnel to assist with the effort.
The company relies on the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing which overseas launch operations at the Kennedy Center, but civilian staff have been sent home due to the government shutdown.
“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,” a spokesperson for the 45th Space Wing said in a statement. “Without our civilian workforce, the 45th SW is unable to support launch operations as well.”