Houston Faces Slow Recovery as Space Shuttle Program Winds Down

Houston Space Economy Faces Slow Rebound
Aviation Week

Regional aerospace leaders counseled patience at an Oct. 15 Space Economy Career Summit attended by about 400 displaced mid-career NASA contractor professionals.

The laid-off employees are wondering where and when they will work next as the agency responds to the retirement of the space shuttle program and the road map outlined in the 2010 NASA authorization bill signed by President Barack Obama on Oct. 11.

A year ago, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which is responsible for Constellation’s development as well as shuttle and International Space Station operations, counted 3,300 civil servants and 11,500 contractor personnel. While the federal workforce is not expected to change during the re-tooling, the contractor total has sunk to 9,000 and will decline further as the final two — possibly three — remaining shuttle flights are completed by mid-2011, Saunders says….

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