Gov. shutdown causes furloughs at KSC Visitor's Complex



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The government shutdown has forced furloughs at the Kennedy Space Center's Visitor Center.

Thanks to the battle over the Affordable Care Act, some government offices are shut down.

That includes almost all of the employees of NASA and those who provide tours of the space center.

"We have 117 fantastic crew members who had to be furloughed as a result of the government shut down, and this is because they help get our guests into the Kennedy Space Center," said Andrea Farmer of KSC.

The visitor's complex is actually run by a private company, so the shutdown is even affecting non-government workers.

Bus drivers, security officers, tour guides and concession workers are all without a paycheck, for now. The visitor's complex is doing other things to make it up to tourists.

"What we've done to enhance the visitor experience is added additional shows, astronaut encounters, rocket garden tours, IMAX space films where we're showing Hubble and Space Station 3-D," said Farmer.

One of the main attractions is still open: the Atlantis Exhibit, which is the brand new up-close look at the space shuttle hanging in its new retirement home.

It's one element of the complex that's keeping revenue intact.

"We're seeing a little bit of an effect, but really have had a good week in terms of attendance," said Farmer.

Officials said there is still plenty to do and see at the visitor's complex, despite the furloughs.