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Shuttered Shuttle Program Would End 23,000 Jobs

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Projections show that President Obama’s proposed budget for NASA, which would cancel development of new rockets and spacecraft, would cost 23,000 workers their jobs at Kennedy Space Center and outlying areas. The total includes 9,000 “direct” space jobs and 14,000 “indirect” jobs that include hotels and restaurants, said Lisa Rice, president of Brevard Workforce.

The organization had previously tabbed direct job losses to number 7,000 with the upcoming retirement of the space shuttle program. The numbers were increased following the cancellation of Project Constellation and other space initiative outlined in the federal budget for 2011.

“Our unemployment rate is going to skyrocket,” Rice told Florida Today.

A vice president for United Space Alliance, NASA’s main contractor for shuttle operations, predicted 4,500 of the company’s 5,500 Florida workers would lose their jobs.

During a space workshop Thursday, the Brevard County Commission discussed what it could do to recruit commercial launch operations currently operating in California, Virginia, Texas and elsewhere.

“The market will drive where space vehicles are launched from,” said Mark Nappi, vice president of launch and recovery systems for United Space Alliance “And if we believe in Florida that we have the birthright to spaceflight operations, we’re going to be the Pittsburgh of the steel industry and the Detroit of the car industry.”

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Authored by: daniel