02/10/2013 07:25 BST | Updated 02/10/2013 07:34 BST

Nasa's Mars Curiosity Rover Will Survive The US Government Shutdown (But We Might Get Hit By An Asteroid)

While the US government shutdown has potentially put the entire Earth at risk from asteroid annihilation we can at least be safe in the knowledge that the Mars Curiosity rover will survive.

Despite Nasa being affected by the political deadlock paralysing parts of America's infrastructure, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in charge of the bot are contractors and as such are not affected.

A JPL spokesperson, Jane Platt, told the IBTimes operations would continue for the time being as JPL is owned by a private firm, the California Institute of Technology.

mars curiosity

He'll make it

Reassuring news too for the crew of the International Space Station - they are not to be abandoned but will be monitored although projects have been paused.

The shutdown could delay the launch of Nasa's next planned mission to Mars.

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft (MAVEN) is due to be launched in November.

Any delay past 7 December would mean a wait of 26 months before the Earth and Mars would be in the correct alignment.