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July 17, 2008 Vol. 1 Issue 6


NASA Administrator Dr. Michael Griffin told a Senate Subcommittee that extending Space Shuttle operations beyond FY 2010 would have “serious budgetary and schedule repercussions for the Constellation program.”

Testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Aeronautics, and Related Sciences, Administrator Griffin said that maintaining a clear end date for Shuttle operations will minimize the difficulties of the workforce transition from the Shuttle to Constellation. “Keeping the Shuttle system operational past September 30, 2010 would only compound the problem of getting Constellation into service, exacerbate the gap in NASA human space launch capabilities, and delay America’s return to the Moon,” he said. “Not moving forward or delaying exploration capabilities would be more deleterious to the KSC workforce than the current plans.”

Administrator Griffin addressed the impact that the transition will have on Kennedy Space Center (KSC), acknowledging that “in the near-term future, there will be fewer jobs at KSC.” He emphasized that the agency has focused on retraining and incentives to help mitigate the effects the transition will have on both civil servants and contractors. NASA has been tracking the civil service’s workforce time on the Shuttle, ISS, and Constellation, he noted, and that analysis has shown that more than half of the civil servants working on human space flight currently support more than one program. “This encourages the transfer of lessons learned, the incorporation of operations needs into design, and demonstrates to the workforce that they will have future work on the Constellation Program as Shuttle is retired,” he said.

Read Administrator Griffin’s full testimony (PDF)

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