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NASA Kennedy Space Center Staff Back To Work After 35-day Shutdown

This aerial view looking north shows space shuttle Complex 39 Launch Pads A (foreground) and B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. To the right is the Atlantic Ocean. (2006) Photo credit: Cory Huston, NASA

Workers at the Kennedy Space Center are back on the job after a more than month long partial government shutdown.

Nearly 1,800 of KSC’s roughly 2,000 civil servants were furloughed during the shutdown and thousands more contractors were sent home.

NASA said federal employees can expect retroactive pay by January 31. It’s unclear if the center’s thousands of contract workers will get backpay – lawmakers in Washington are calling for legislation to provide those workers retroactive pay from the shutdown.

The agency is continuing to focus on a test-launch of SpaceX’s Commercial Crew Capsule, a mission which was deemed “essential” during the shutdown. SpaceX test-fired the rocket’s nine engines last week ahead of an uncrewed test flight next month.

The more than $6 billion program aims to launch humans to the space station using commercial partners SpaceX and Boeing.

Special interest tours from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be up and running Tuesday although most of the visitor’s center was unaffected by the shutdown since it is paid for by private funds.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »