US space shuttle major contractor cuts half jobs

Updated: 2011-04-16 11:36


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HOUSTON - A major contractor for the US space shuttle on Friday announced plans to lay off about 50 percent of its employees this summer after NASA retires the orbiter fleet.

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The contractor, Houston-based United Space Alliance, said it will cut 2,600 to 2,800 jobs, including 1,850 to 1,950 employees in Florida, 750 to 800 employees in Texas, and 30 to 40 employees in Alabama, "due to the completion of tasks related to day-to-day operations of the Shuttle fleet."

The cuts will be made in late July and early August after NASA completes the final flight of Endeavour, scheduled for April 29, and the flight of Atlantis on June 28.

"The accomplishments of this team are unmatched in human spaceflight," Virginia Barnes, the company's president, said in a news release. "It will be difficult to say goodbye to such tremendously talented and dedicated teammates, and we are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for them."

United Space Alliance has approximately 5,600 employees working at sites in Texas, Florida and Alabama, according to the the news release.


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