WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government shutdown is reaching all the way down to the South Pole.
The National Science Foundation announced Tuesday it is putting its three Antarctic scientific stations in deep freeze just as scientists are starting to arrive for the start of a new research season.
The NSF runs three stations in Antarctica, spending just under $400 million a year there. It often takes weeks for some 1,200 researchers to get to the southern continent by boat or plane.
Scientists say October is when spring and summer research starts in Antarctica. A ship had been scheduled to arrive today with researchers, including those working on a long-term study that has tracked penguins and other creatures since 1990.
A skeleton staff will remain for safety and property protection.
-- The Associated Press