426 workers of Alliant Techsystem‘s Ares Rockets motor project based in northern Utah will be without a job now that Congress has voted to continue funding for the Ares I Rocket, space shuttle, and the Air Force Minuteman III programs for only one more year as opposed to the projected 10 more years that the Constellation program was expected to have. Of those 426, 66 of them were voluntary early retirement. All of the workers layed off will receive severance pay and assistance, based on seniority.
Allient Techsystems, one of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the United States, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some 18,000 employees in 22 states work for Alliant Techsystems, with 2010 revenues of more than $4.8 billion. Alliant Techsystems is the only manufacturer of the reusable Solid Rocket Motor, which is used in NASA Space Shuttle launches. The Solid Rocket Booster is used in Ares I flights.
Senator Orrin Hatch, who fought for the heavy load booster program, says, “I think we basically saved that. We saved our lines up there, basically saved thousands of jobs. No easy achievement. We’ve been working on it for years. Culminated last night. Frankly, it should strengthen ATK giving them even more capacity than they have now.”Alliant Techsystems to Lay Off 426 in Utah by Harrison Barnes