NASA Begins Layoffs as Shuttle Program Winds Down

Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle

NASA to shed jobs as shuttle retirement nears

The U.S. space agency NASA plans to eliminate 900 manufacturing jobs over the next five months as it prepares to retire its space shuttle fleet in 2010, NASA officials said on Thursday.

The first 160 layoff notices go out on Friday, primarily to contractors producing the space shuttle fuel tanks outside New Orleans and the shuttle solid rocket boosters in Utah.

The prime contractors for those components are Lockheed Martin Corp and ATK Thiokol.