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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.