Photo via Wikimedia Commons
On day 35 of the partial federal government shutdown, 800,000
government employees remain unpaid and many are on furlough.
NASA is part of the shutdown as well, including the Glenn Research Center
in Cleveland. Teersa Kramer, a chemical engineering major at the Oklahoma State University, was ready to start her internship in Cleveland this month when the government stalemate went into effect.
"I was excited to come and start eating at all the great restaurants, and the housing I found was close to things in Cleveland Heights on Cedar and Lee," Kramer, 48, tells Scene from her home in Tulsa.
Staying in Oklahoma when the internship start date was just postponed, Kramer was urged by her NASA mentor to try and register for university classes as the shutdown continued.
But there was also an issue with housing. Kramer had put $1,000-plus down on an Airbnb for her time here, but once it was clear the internship wouldn't happen or would be delayed, the host didn't want to give her a refund, despite the extenuating circumstances. She received word yesterday however that the company has decided to compensate her fully.
"It's NASA!" Kramer says. "This internship was going to be my second with them and I was so excited."
Fellow intern Alex Reed, an IT technician out of South Carolina, was also disappointed to not be starting the internship at NASA's Glenn Research Center this month. In an interview
with NPR's Audie Cornish, Reed explained how he'd quit his job specifically for the program.
"You go from not caring, not paying attention, letting agendas be agendas and you just mind your own business and take care of yourself to now you have to try and figure out what's going on, if something's going to change, when it's going to change because now it affects you," he said
. "It's frustrating, and it creates a lot of stress and anxiety."
In the meantime only critical personnel, like those working directly with astronauts on the International Space Station, are continuing to work at NASA. However, the NASA Glenn Visitor Center is still open in Cleveland, as it is a part of the Great Lakes Science Center.