Voyager 2, a space-probe first launched in 1977 and now nearing interstellar space, has a twitter feed. I learned this because, as a result of the government shutdown, the space-probe has informed the planet that it can no longer keep its twitter account up-to-date. Nothing like a shutdown to shine a klieg-light on all the “non-essential” things our government does every day.
Due to government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves.
— NASAVoyager2 (@NASAVoyager2) October 1, 2013
Now, I’m not some kind of green-eye-shaded Grinch. Our government’s spending problem is really about entitlements and transfer payments to senior citizens. The entire NASA program itself is a rounding error in the budget, and its spending is at least aspirational, capturing the public’s imagination.
That said, I’m not really going to lose sleep that an inanimate object skirting the boundaries of our solar system can no longer send 140 character messages to Earth.
So, go gently into the night, space-probe. We’ll let you know when we sort things out.