Feeds

Falling axe strikes space shuttle workers

Services no longer required

Intelligent flash storage arrays

This Friday, 515 employees of major space shuttle contractor United Space Alliance (USA) will be given their pink slips, and will join 1,550 former colleagues who were shown the door immediately after the landing of the shuttle Atlantis on 21 July.

USA - a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin - expects to lay off a further 285 workers by the end of the month, reducing it to just 3,100 staff compared to a 2003 peak of 10,500.

The axe is also falling on shuttle-dependent staff at Boeing and Lockheed Martin themselves. The former announced last week that it would be letting 260 people go, while the latter was preparing to ditch 100 employees from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the shuttle's external fuel tanks were manufactured.

Three hundred Michoud workers have been spared the chop. A hundred will be "closing out shuttle contracts for another six to 12 months", while the remaining 200 will be transferred to the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

In California, meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, which built the shuttle's main engines, shed 300 jobs on 31 July, although not all of these redundancies were shuttle-related.

Utah-based Alliant Techsystems was responsible for the shuttle's solid rocket boosters, and will lose around 1,600 jobs as a result of the shuttle programme's death. There's more on all of the above redundancies here.

According to the BBC, space shuttle job casualties total around 8,000, including NASA Kennedy Space Center staff and contractors. Further collateral damage is likely in towns like Titusville in Florida, whose economy largely depends on Kennedy launches. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.