NASA Space Flight Review Worries Workers

Thousands of jobs at stake when shuttle retires next year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 7, 2009 10:44 AM CDT
Atlantis, left, and Endeavour are shown on their launch pads at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., April 17, 2009.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A NASA review of manned space-flight plans has Kennedy Space Center workers and contractors fearing for their jobs, the Orlando Sentinel reports. A panel will investigate whether rockets set to carry humans into space after the shuttle fleet is retired next year are really NASA’s best bets. Some worry the review could make the delay between shuttle and rockets longer than the expected 5 years.

The shuttle fleet’s retirement will mean 3,500 to 10,000 lost jobs. “The shuttle workforce has been looking for what few opportunities there will be” under the current project, “and even that’s now uncertain,” says a space expert expecting budget cuts. Worries one Kennedy blogger: “This is the beginning of the end of United States manned spaceflight.”