USA to Lay Off 400 as Shuttle Retirement Begins

Space shuttle Atlantis lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas
Space shuttle Atlantis lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

USA to lay off 240 at KSC
Florida Today

NASA’s prime shuttle fleet operator will lay off 400 people this October, including about 240 at Kennedy Space Center, as the nation’s space agency moves toward retiring its winged orbiters.

Not entirely unexpected, the job cuts at United Space Alliance will come as NASA begins to launch the final missions required to complete assembly of the International Space Station.

In January 2004, then-President George W. Bush set NASA on course to finish building the $100 billion outpost and retire its shuttle fleet by the end of September 2010. This year, President Barack Obama eased the deadline to the end of 2010.

USA spokesman Jeff Carr said the company’s 9,300 employees — about 5,600 of whom work at KSC — were notified Tuesday in an e-mail from the company’s chief executive officer, former NASA astronaut Dick Covey. The 400 layoffs represent just under 5 percent of the company’s work force.

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