The world of space enthusiasts -- accustomed to following the exploits of the Mars Curiosity rover, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the International Space Station -- were greeted with an alien message Tuesday: "Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available."
NASA wasn't alone. A survey of various government websites and services showed that the impact of the government shutdown is real for citizens and far-reaching for agency leaders scrambling to maintain their operations in the sudden absence of funding.
At the Department of Health and Human Services, senior officials are not only dealing with the requirements of a shutdown, but also with the launch of the health insurance marketplaces. The marketplaces will remain available to consumers on HealthCare.gov as part of the Affordable Care Act. Other parts of the agency, however, will be hit hard. HHS's shutdown contingency plan shows that 52 percent of employees are being furloughed, leaving just 48 percent on the job.
-- Elena Malykhina
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