NASA says thousands could lose jobs after shuttle program ends

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

NASA says more than 8,000 contractor jobs in the nation's manned space program could be eliminated after the space shuttle program is shut down in 2010.

The number of civil servants is expected to remain roughly the same as NASA transitions to the Constellation program, which is developing the next-generation vehicle and rockets to go to the moon and later to Mars.

NASA says the estimates are preliminary and that job losses could fluctuate depending on who's in the White House.

The bleakest forecast is for Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with a possible 80-percent cut in employment by 2011.

Governor Charlie Crist says the state is committed to trying to blunt the impact of the job losses and is trying to attract more than 50 space-related firms to the state.

A spokeswoman for the largest space shuttle contractor says the new report comes as no surprise.

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