Thursday, April 08, 2010

NASA Contractor Job Outlook At Kennedy Space Center Still Unclear

NASA aims to open three new offices at Kennedy Space Center, but President Obama's proposed 2011 budget still would kill Project Constellation and it's unclear how many job losses might be offset and when astronauts might fly missions beyond Earth orbit.

One new office would oversee the development of commercial space taxis that would ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, the operation of which would be extend through at least 2020.

NASA's shuttle program still will shut down as scheduled after station assembly is complete, and it doesn't look as if there would be heavy-lift rocket test flights to help keep a core part of NASA's contractor work force employed.

NASA would open a 21st Centiury Launch Complex office that would be charged with modernizing Kennedy Space Center facilities, performing environmental clean-ups and developing new technology to improve turnaround time on the U.S. Air Force Eastern Range.

"KSC is taking on new responsibilities and receiving significant upgrades that will make our Florida launch center ready to prosper in the 21st century," said Lori Garver, deputy NASA administrator.

A third new office at KSC would help oversee and manage flagship technology demonstrations that would prove out next-generation space capabilities such as orbital fueling and storage facilities, autonomous rendezvous and docking, and inflatable modules.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said the new initiatives in President Obama's proposed 2011 budget would expand frontiers and develop technologies needed for missions beyond Earth orbit. But he could not say whether the new offices at KSC would employ as many people -- 2,000 to 3,000 -- that would have jobs at KSC if the Constellation program continued.

NASA already expected to lose 7,000 contractor jobs at KSC as a result of the shuttle fleet shutdown.

Bolden said it would take a few months to determine how many might be employed as a result of the new initiatives at KSC.

"You're going to have to bear with us," he said.


Anonymous said...

SOSDD....NASA should be in the business of science, not commercial ventures.

Anonymous said...

o bama sen moonwalking on the river near the VAB, film at 11

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:49 - Your lack of basic grammar and punctuation reveals that you are a space center worker. Great cover.

Anonymous said...

This plan does nothing to keep the experience base in the area. Despite what they say it's gonna be hard to keep more than 200 people employed in all 3 offices.