The Government Shutdown Killed an Artist’s Space Sculpture

Eighteen days after Orbital Reflector was deployed into orbit, US President Donald Trump initiated what would become the longest government shutdown in the country’s history. For just over a month, 800,000 federal employees ranging from NASA scientists to air traffic controllers were on full or partial leave. This left many federal agencies scrambling to fulfill their duties, while others, like the Federal Communications Commission, shuttered almost all of their operations.