Thursday, April 3, 2008

NASA prepares to hibernate

Future of HR at NASA depends on next president...2,300 jobs in Houston, between 5,800 and 7,300 workers will lose their jobs over the next three years as NASA's shuttle fleet is retired.

In a report to Congress, NASA said the biggest cuts will occur at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., where job losses could go as high as 6,800, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday.

By Mark Carreau
Houston Chronicle

As many as 2,300 people, most of them contractors, could lose their jobs at Johnson Space Center as the shuttle fleet nears retirement in two years, NASA officials predicted Tuesday.

In the first report of its kind to Congress about the expected drawdown in the space agency's work force, the officials said the reductions would come mostly from the ranks of contractors. The number of permanent civil servants would essentially remain flat.

The officials did not predict the timing of the cuts across the space agency but said that they may begin near the end of the current fiscal year, which ends in September. Between 5,800 and 7,300 workers throughout the agency would lose their jobs over the next three years.

The losses at the space agency's Clear Lake complex could amount to as few as 400 jobs through 2011 if work quickly picks up on the Constellation program, the initiative to build a successor to the shuttle for missions to the moon and Mars. That would depend on an increase in congressional funding and support by the next president.

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