MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Looking online for the image of the day from space, or an update on the Curiosity rover's activities on Mars, or what International Space Station astronauts are doing?
You're out of luck. Go to NASA's website and it will bounce you to a nearly blank screen bearing this message: "Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available."
Along with furloughing more than 2,000 civil servants at Kennedy Space Center, the federal government's partial shutdown has shuttered agency websites including NASA's, though some remain up on a limited basis.
The White House Office of Management and Budget last month gave agencies guidance on a host of issues, including websites, in case Congress failed to agree on a budget.
The office said websites should not be maintained, and incur costs, unless taking them down would hurt agencies' ability to perform essential, or "excepted," activities.
Those are the safety-related jobs that have kept some federal employees - but only a few at NASA - from being furloughed.
For example, the memo said, it might be necessary to keep the IRS site live to enable tax collections that would continue even during a lapse in an approved federal budget.
If a website did continue to run, OMB said, it should be maintained at the lowest possible level.
Just being useful or cool was not enough to justify keeping a website live.
"The mere benefit of continued access by the public to information about the agency's activities would not warrant the retention of personnel or the obligation of funds to maintain (or update) the agency's website during such a lapse (in funding)," the OMB memo reads.
So, no Mars rover or Hubble images at www.nasa.gov. No launch schedules. No ISS updates.
"We sincerely regret this inconvenience," the placeholder US.gov site says.