Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shuttle Workers fear end of program

“At the end of the day, flying high-technology machines into space is a business in which safety rides on the shoulders of skilled, hard-working folks.”

The Jacksonville Observer

Half of NASA’s shuttle workers are worried about their future after next year’s fleet retirement, an employee survey shows.

Sixty percent are dissatisfied with information they are receiving about the shutdown and NASA’s future.

Three of four might leave for the right opportunity.

But only 5 percent are actively seeking new jobs.

In fact, 80 percent are likely to stay through the six remaining missions. And most supervisors believe they’ll have the right people with the right skills to finish the program safely.

The findings – outlined in NASA employee surveys obtained by Florida Today through the Freedom of Information Act – illuminate a major safety issue.

Losing critically skilled workers is a top risk for the $3 billion-a-year shuttle program, ranking right up there with potential rocket booster or engine failures.

An exodus would raise the chances of catastrophe as NASA aims to complete the International Space Station.

“I can’t think of anything more important,” said Retired Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Dyer, chairman of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, which was created by Congress after the 1967 Apollo 1 launch pad fire.

Read the story HERE.

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