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Furloughed NASA scientist gives back

She fosters felines, aptly named by their foster mom.
Furloughed NASA scientist gives back
Furloughed NASA scientist gives back
Updated: Jan. 22, 2019 at 7:58 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It is Day 31. By law, a government shutdown can only go on for 30 days, so a second furlough notice must be reissued.

Hundreds of thousands received the first notice including Dr. Louise Strutzenberg. Louise has been forced to stay home this last month, but she’s had her hands full on furlough.

She fosters felines, aptly named by their foster mom, NASA Project Scientist Dr Louise Strutzenberg.

“It’s been a nice distraction. The furlough kitties have been a lot of fun,” said NASA Project Scientist Dr Louise Strutzenberg.

Louise volunteers for A New Leash on Life.

“There is always such a need with these animals. There are so many things that can be done," said Strutzenberg.

Since she can’t go to her full time -paying- job at NASA, she’s pouring herself into these pets. The same could be said for Louise’s job at NASA. She’s got important work flying around the Earth every 90 minutes and 200 miles up.

“We have an experiment on Space Station and it’s actually still there right now,” said Strutzenberg.

The data from that experiment was downloaded from the ISS in December. More arrived on a hard drive recently on a SpaceX-Dragon, but Louise can’t see it. She’s is locked out of the information loop because she’s not allowed to get on her work computer.

“It’s very frustrating to not be able to look at that data, it’s like you got that Christmas present and you can’t look at it. Years and years have been put into these investigations that are on-going and sometimes you can’t just press pause and go back to where you were 30 days ago. We’ve never tried to come back from a furlough that is this long. We are sort of in unknown territory here,” said Strutzenberg.

Louise is obviously confounded by these constraints and the personal cost.

“I will probably go ahead and get a temporary job. Just to relieve the temporary burden. There are daily expenses that have to happen with cash,” said Strutzenberg.

Louise has no idea what that temporary job looks like, but she knows its got to happen-soon. Until then or the federal government quickly reopens.

Louise, like many at MSFC never really gave thought to their “second acts”, but she says she does have transferable skills. Remember, if you have a temporary job for a NASA project scientist who is a good driver and loves animals consider people like Louise.

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