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#1 2005-08-30 10:32:43

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

As noted at Nasawatch:

Right sizing the workforce is a must as we go forward with the CEV and of exploration. We have brought this up under multiple threads of discusion predominately under the term of shuttle army.

RIF planning Underway
Editor's 24 Aug update: Today Scott Pace's organization was charged with coming up with an alternative to RIFs as a way to solve the unfunded capacity problem among the civil service workforce. The solution: 'insourcing'. Under this scenario, NASA would take work away from contractors and have it done in house by civil servants instead. Of course, this still means that a bunch of folks from the NASA family will lose their jobs - only now, the type of badge the unlucky folks will be turning in as they depart has changed.

Editor's 24 Aug note: NASA budget people are now being told that the 'unfunded capacity' problem NASA currently faces will be solved after FY 2007. This will be accomplished by a series of RIFs at ARC, GRC, LaRC - and MSFC.

Editor's 18 Aug note: Word has it that Scott Pace recently held meetings with some Center Directors and that NASA will have to deal with the prospect of a cutting 1,000 civil servants with cuts to be focused at ARC, LaRC, and GRC. Stay tuned.

Some have voiced there opinions leading up to a squelching of information from these facilities.

NASA Management Seeks to Muzzle Its Employees
Message from NASA Headquarters - Communicating With the Public, NASA HQ

"To ensure a responsive public communications program and enhance public perception of NASA, each Center has designated a Public Inquiries Officer for managing communications, including letters, e-mails, faxes and telephone inquiries, from the general public." ... " Here is how the E-Gov Initiative works. Effective immediately, if you receive an e-mail from a member of the public, promptly forward it to the designated e-mail address for your Center" ... "In both cases, no follow up is necessary. You will not receive a reply that the e-mail has been successfully accepted, nor will you receive a copy of the response."

Editor's note: This is both utterly hilarious - and sad. I guess this is what passes for "strategic communications" according to Joe Davis. Instead of having the person at NASA who might actually know what they are talking about respond to a taxpayer's inquiry, some PAO flack will now do that instead - and the technical expert to whom the inquiry was addresed will never know how the agency responds. What a wonderful way to make true communication evaporate! Of course, the response time will now be positively glacial - and the response, once sent, will be laced with HQ PAO spin and devoid of the technical content only an expert can provide. No doubt a committee will have to approve every response. If ever there was a single action on the part of NASA that served to make the space agency less responsive and more isolated from the taxpaying public, this is it. Indeed, this action is also indicative of management - starting at the top of the agency (with Mike Griffin) - that is afraid of allowing its people to interact with those who pay their salaries - and whose interests they serve.

Obviously no one at NASA really thought this through. What is the "general public" anyways? Has it ever been formally defined? Does it mean someone who does not work at NASA? If you are a non-NASA scientist asking a NASA civil servant a question, does the PAO filter need to come into play before they respond? If the question is purely technical will PAO get their own independent expertise to answer it (do recall that this process takes the recipient out of the loop). What about asking questions of the contacts listed on all NASA procurement notices? Does PAO now take on that role? If I am an astronomer employed by NASA but send a quick note to someone in my carpool who works on the shuttle program asking when the next shuttle launch is, am I 'general public' (since this is a question many people would ask) ? What about questions asked of NASA speakers at grammar schools - does PAO need to screen them before a speaker responds? If someone sitting next to you on a plane asks you what you do for a living, do you need to check with PAO first?

We have heard also of wanting to make cuts to aeronautics but that has gotten a small reprieve inpart to budget increases. But how long can we keep increasing what Nasa has to work with for capitol?

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#2 2005-09-06 10:39:12

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

More articles of reference being posted to Nasawatch on this subject.

Right sizing Nasa for exploration...

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#3 2005-09-09 05:19:42

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Additional refernece of the RIF in process. To what amount did GCNRevenger
predict would be required, I think I recall 30 but they are saying 40% change in the ended run.

September 09, 2005
Who is important - and who is not - at NASA HQ

Editor's note: According to NASA HQ sources an action is now circulating, due next Monday, for all the AA's to prioritize their staff. Sources point to a planning target workforce reduction at HQ of 40% that Scott Pace and Mike G rif fin have been working toward. This ranking would better help them understand who is important and who is not. Of course, a RIF is the next logical step. Think back to the old RIF Watch days in the 1990's when Dan Goldin wanted to slash the workforce. Remember what "RIF" stood for? Resistance Is Futile.


Griffin's RIF: Ames Plans Ahead
NASA Internal Memo: Presentation on Free Career Services for the Ames Work Force

"NOVA AND EDD COMMUNITY SERVICES CAREER TALK - NASA employees and contractors, if you want to find a new job after retirement or resignation, or are facing lay off, the NOVA (North Valley Job Training Consortium) and the EDD (Employment Development Department) organizations may be important community resources for you."

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#4 2005-09-13 10:00:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Finally something other than a Nasawatch reference to jobs.
[url=http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/dp-84120sy0sep13,0,5380647.story?coll=dp-news-local-final]Job cuts may be lower at NASA Langley
Congress seems likely restore funding to make layoffs only a quarter of what was once feared.[/url]

But with the effects of Katrina those of NASA Moving La. Workers To KSC appears to be also the reality to keeping the shuttle flying.

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#5 2005-09-13 16:55:23

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Before I respond, let me make it clear that we need a coherent policy and a mission statement as to what we want to do in space and fund accordingly or other wise we are wasting our time and only getting minimum return on our investment in space. We should take a serious look at what we intend to in space, but this just arbitrary cutting of the NASA budget will cause more harm than good or eliminating what your calling the NASA Army. We need a government agency that can engage in building infrastructure like we need the Army Corps of Engineers to be funded with 6 billion dollars to build up a better levee for New Orleans instead of having there budget cut. Now it going to cost us 200 to 400 billion dollars to rebuild New Orleans. George Bush wanted to save 6 billion dollars and now he has a destroyed city with maybe 10,000 people are dead.

So what does that have with cutting the NASA Army?

Having the infrastructure in place like building the Levee's around New Orleans is only half the battle of having infrastructure, you also have to have an infrastructure of people that can build those Levee's so they can be build to protect New Orleans. The Employees of NASA are an important part of having the people infrastructure for a serious space program or there won't be one.

Let go back to New Orleans for our example:

George Bush should have called up the military one to two weeks before Katrina hit New Orleans and have New Orleans evacuated and given the responsibility to the Army Corps of Engineers to try and save New Orleans, by battening down the hatches. If that didn't work, then give the Army Corps of Engineers power and authority to rebuild that city and get it operational as soon as possible. If George Bush would have done this, it would have minimized the damage done to New Orleans by Katrina and would have also have kept the death toll down below a 100 or less.

So now we have a natural disaster that followed a human caused disaster, because  someone in authority refuse to move soon enough. Now, George Bush has made this disaster a whole lot worse than it really should have been, because of his inaction, but he going to make this situation worse than it is now, by putting that private contractor Halliburton in charge of the rebuilding of New Orleans. George Bush is going to add insult to injury by making this decision and he exalt folly to new heights of exaltation thin it never seen on the face of the earth.

Turning this over to the Army of Engineers is the only way go. But, for those that don't like the Army, now your going to get your chance to see what going to happen without the army. You watch and see another disaster unfold right before your eyes. So keep watching as Hallibuton try’s to do what the Army Corps of Engineers been doing for 200 hundred years.

I'm going to tell you right now. It going to be a total disaster that may even surpass the Hurricane Katrina and human disaster caused by George Bush. For those of you that think that I'm over stating my position, Just watch and see what happens. After you see what happens, then I shouldn’t have to argue with you about Government build and Government maintained infrastructures. It should be self-evident of it importance and the not functionality of a space program or space civilization that doesn’t have that impute.

Just remember, the Army Corps of Engineers has been dealing with problems like this for over 200 years and nobody does it better than the Army Corps of Engineers.  I mean, nobody does it better than they do.

Larry,

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#6 2005-09-14 07:26:39

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Now MR, is this right place to be talking about this? I don't think this has enough to do with NASA for it to not be a standard Bush-Bash.

"instead of having there budget cut"

Their budget was already double what it was under Clinton, signifigant portions of levee money was going to buy things like private jets and casino/hotels for local flood control officals, and the "new and improved" concrete levees were the ones that failed.

"George Bush should have called up the military one to two weeks before Katrina hit"

WTH are you talking about? We didn't even know where Katrina was going to hit with any certainty until only several days before landfall. PLUS, the president is not allowed to command LA/AL/MI guard units in the states' without their govenor's permission. Govenor Blanco didn't even issue the big callup order until after landfall.

Neither does Bush have the authority to order that a city be summerly evacuated, again, this is a federal country made up of partially soverign states. Only the mayor (Nagin) or the governor (Blanco) have the authority to issue such an executive order, which was not done until only hours before landfall. This was obviously not enough time to do anything.

"it would have minimized the damage done to New Orleans"

Again, no. The levees that failed and drowned New Orleans were the new-and-improved levees. The design simply failed against a hazard it should have been able to withstand.

"because someone in authority refuse to move soon enough"

Which would be mayor Nagin and govenor Blanco for not evacuating the city with the >560 city-owned busses, which are now all under water.

The guard' did the best they could given that they were stationed over a hundred miles from the city, and had no direct line of communication to the city with the destruction of the roads. Plus, you obviously don't want to put a ship in the middle of a hurricane, so it would have also taken time for USN units to arrive from a safe distance out of the hurricane's path. The guard and USN arrived in about the same amount of time as it took for them to respond to hurricane Andrew in Florida.

"Turning this over to the Army of Engineers is the only way go"

The corp' isn't in the general civilian or petrolium/gas infrastructure construction business like Haliburton, their business is building flood control measures and other public works type projects. One imparticularly, the new concrete levees, failed miserably.

"the Army Corps of Engineers has been dealing with problems like this for over 200 years and nobody does it better."

No. One more time, their business is not civilian construction. They don't build houses, they don't build businesses, they don't build stadiums, they don't build oil refineries, they don't build LNG gassifiers, they don't build pipelines, they don't build modern hospitals, they don't build lots of things. Its just not in their job description.

Their job was was to help the local LA flood control agency and officals build a levee system that could withstand a direct hit from a fast-moving catagory-III hurricane. The storm surge from Katrina that hit New Orleans was aproximatly equal to that of direct hit from a catagory-III, but the levees failed anyway. The levees and pumps would also have failed if a slow-moving catagory-III hit.

PS: Oh, and as a shining exmaple of her competance, govenor Blanco (crack-ho?) personally orderd the American Red Cross not to enter New Orleans until days after landfall. Despite what you BDS sufferers out there might think, or what the "bipartisan" congressional comittees decide, the majority of the deaths can only be attributed to Blanco and Nagins incompetance.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#7 2005-09-15 10:06:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

A sign of this being serious and not what I would have expected since the rovers are doing so well.

JPL enforces labwide freeze on hiring for pas: @ JPL enacts labwide hiring freeze Action in anticipation of NASA budget cuts

Based on the best information we now have, we expect to see a 2 percent to 5 percent reduction in our FY06 budget compared to FY05,' JPL director Charles Elachi wrote in a letter to all lab employees. The lab's budget for fiscal year 2005 was $1.6 billion.

I see now just bean counters due to fiscal year budget.

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#8 2005-09-15 17:52:24

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,794
Website

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

NASA is continuing to modernize Shuttle orbiter maintenance equipment at the cape. It's time to stop this and plan to decommission the orbiter. Equipment that may be old but still works perfectly does not need to be replaced. Rather than replacing old computer equipment with new ones, just replace the orbiter with a new vehicle.

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#9 2005-09-20 07:58:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

With the new role out of the new sdv and moon program, the shuttle army is looking like 85% will remain intact.

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#10 2005-09-23 15:22:52

publiusr
Member
From: Alabama
Registered: 2005-02-24
Posts: 682

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

It's up to Rita now if we even have a JSC.

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#11 2005-09-23 20:26:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

From Nasa watch page:

RIF? What RIF?

Conversation With Mike Griffin, Aerospace America, AIAA (PDF)

"AIAA: "Do you see, in the next year or so as the budget situation gets tighter, any need for reductions in force in the NASA field centers?"

Mike Griffin: "Most certainly not. NASA has three main functions, three main mission areas: human spaceflight, science, and aeronautics. Now the Bush administration's Vision for Space Exploration is primarily about altering the direction in which we take human spaceflight; supplementing that, of course, with robotic exploration of the type we already do. So certainly we will not damage a robust space science program, nor will we further cut aeronautics research, in order to fund the human spaceflight program."

Editor's note: I am a little confused. If NASA's leader says that there aren't going to be any RIFs, then why are field centers preparing for one? This RIF-related memo from ARC was issued just the other day. So was this one from GRC. Go here. There's more

JPL RIF Update

Reader Note: "As of yesterday, September 22, some 300 onsite contractors at JPL have received notice. Today is the last day of employment for many of them. Others have been granted 30 day extensions (AKA notice) while displaced JPL employees can be screened for candidates to replace them (the contractors)."

Well so which is it Mr. Griffin?

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#12 2005-09-28 18:56:24

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

NASA/Ames ending contracts with 400 scientists

About 100 contractors at the NASA/Ames Research Center will be packing up their labs and laptops in the next two weeks, after getting pink slips as part of a historic restructuring at the Moffett Field center.

Leaders at the Mountain View research facility plan to shed an additional 300 contractors -- who lack the job protections of federal workers -- within a year, according to center documents. Even some projects many union workers thought were safe, such as studies about life in space and human error in orbit, are being cut deeply.

I guess science is not all that important after all.

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#13 2005-09-29 07:15:59

ftlwright
Member
Registered: 2004-11-17
Posts: 61

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Considering the NSF has about 1/3 the budget as NHS, this shouldn't come as a surprised.  In general the American public is disenfranchised with sciences; seeing little return from their investment.  I swear, more people treat science as some sort of black magic rather than giving it the respect it deserves.  Within 15 years, engineers will probably have the same esteem as teachers in this country (*sarcasm* Related? Naa.)

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#14 2005-09-29 09:43:43

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

NASA/Ames ending contracts with 400 scientists

About 100 contractors at the NASA/Ames Research Center will be packing up their labs and laptops in the next two weeks, after getting pink slips as part of a historic restructuring at the Moffett Field center.

Leaders at the Mountain View research facility plan to shed an additional 300 contractors -- who lack the job protections of federal workers -- within a year, according to center documents. Even some projects many union workers thought were safe, such as studies about life in space and human error in orbit, are being cut deeply.

I guess science is not all that important after all.

Bluntly, most of the biological science NASA does is not very important to fulfilling NASA's goals, so why should NASA pay for it? If they are studying life science just for the purpose of life science, then their work falls more under the NSF, not NASA.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#15 2005-09-29 10:11:06

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Looks like NSF needs to open a new office in that local then.

On the other side of the coil those that have pull in congressional districts are speaking up to rest the down sizing loss of jobs.
DeWine pushes Glenn center job security into NASA bill

What does Glenn do?

Employees at NASA's Glenn Research Center could gain a measure of job security, at least in the short run, under a Senate bill passed Wednesday with Glenn-specific provisions.

NASA's new emphasis on missions to the moon and Mars has put into question the future of the Northeast Ohio center, which specialized in aeronautics, propulsion and microgravity.

This is why he thinks there jobs should be protected:

It also requires NASA to develop advanced power systems for use on the moon and Mars. The center was instrumental in developing power systems for the International Space Station, and DeWine says it could be the lead center for power systems.

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#16 2005-09-29 11:26:17

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Power systems?

Thats ALL?

Big deal! Unless Glenn is in the nuclear power plant business, then this can't possibly justify keeping the whole center open!

Congress has declared war on VSE


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#17 2005-10-04 12:00:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

There is also another backlass that is occuring in the role of science.

Space Environments and Effects (SEE) Program

The Space Environments and Effects (SEE) Program collects, develops, and disseminates the SEE-related technologies required to design, manufacture and operate more reliable, cost-effective spacecraft for the government and commercial sectors.

In partnership with industry, academia, and other government agencies, the SEE Program defines the space environments and advocates technology development to accommodate or mitigate these harmful environments on spacecraft; hence the technology is transferred to spacecraft developers for incorporation in design.

The SEE Program establishes new plateaus of technical capability to reduce cost of NASA's science and exploration missions which enables new and more challenging missions

Seems like something that is needed but this is what is going on:

We have received word that NASA management has decided to terminate the Space Environments and Effects (SEE) Program.  As a result, this website, along with support and distribution of our products and services, will cease within the next few months.  It has been our pleasure to serve you, the space environments community, for these many years.

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#18 2005-10-07 09:54:54

publiusr
Member
From: Alabama
Registered: 2005-02-24
Posts: 682

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

It isn't as if that will never get done. Rockets first--payloads later.

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#19 2005-10-20 10:31:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

There is a down side to the cuts coming to the JPL facility thanks to an under budgeting for the work that they do for Nasa.
JPL Layoffs Have Begun

The first layoff notices have already been sent out to Jet Propulsion Laboratory staff whose jobs will be cut in a budget reduction this year.

The anticipated cut in the lab's $1.6 billion budget is 5 to 8 percent, according to director Charles Elachi.

The first round of reductions to meet that cut will involve layoffs for about 200 regular employees and 100 contractors, according to JPL officials. Total work force at the La Cañada facility is about 5,400.

But beyound this there are other impacts as well on the probes that they were, are or have started building.

Two JPL missions, the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter and the Mars Telecommunications Orbiter, have been eliminated, and funding for others may be stretched out over more years.

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#20 2005-10-21 09:56:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

NASA Glenn bleeding jobs; prospects are poor is bracing for deep budget cuts next year, has already lost more than 550 contractors and civil servants since late last year.

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#21 2005-10-24 10:27:20

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

With Nasa telling its workers to stay home from Huricane Wilma, I began to wonder how small can we get the army.

NASA shuts doors as Wilma nears Florida 13,000 Cape employees told to stay home; steps taken to protect shuttles

That is a lot of people and how are these people being paid for this extra day off?

Also it would be nice to know how many are actual workers on the shuttles.

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#22 2005-11-09 14:50:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Buried deep in the House bill CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2862, SCIENCE, STATE, JUSTICE, COMMERCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 (House of Representatives - November 07, 2005)

None of the funds made available to NASA in this Act may be used for voluntary separation incentive payments as provided for in subchapter II of chapter 35 of title 5, United States Code, unless the Administrator of NASA has first certified to Congress that such payments would not result in the loss of skills related to the safety of the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station or to the conduct of independent safety oversight in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

So how does congress think Nasa will be able to get to the right amount of personel if those that want to leave before the axe falls can not do so under the early buy out option of there retirement, pension system.

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#23 2005-11-09 16:36:46

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Buried deep in the House bill CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2862, SCIENCE, STATE, JUSTICE, COMMERCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 (House of Representatives - November 07, 2005)

None of the funds made available to NASA in this Act may be used for voluntary separation incentive payments as provided for in subchapter II of chapter 35 of title 5, United States Code, unless the Administrator of NASA has first certified to Congress that such payments would not result in the loss of skills related to the safety of the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station or to the conduct of independent safety oversight in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

So how does congress think Nasa will be able to get to the right amount of personel if those that want to leave before the axe falls can not do so under the early buy out option of there retirement, pension system.

This makes Griffin's job tuff. He has not enough money and he can't lay people off without going to congress first. Hmmmmmm.........

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#24 2005-11-09 17:28:01

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

If Congress is absolutely comitted to holding onto the ISS at any cost and that no reduction in the 17,000 engineers that operate Shuttle are acceptable, then it might just make Griffins' job impossible.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#25 2005-11-11 07:41:30

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Down sizing the shuttle Army

Marshall again offers worker buyouts Space agency wants to cut 300 Huntsville jobs.

Where the cuts are to be made:

Marshall mangers want to reduce the number of employees in 46 job types that include materials science, cell biology, fluid physics and test engineering. About 2,400 people work at the Marshall Center.

Marshall has to change its focus from space shuttle and space station-based programs to building large rockets and developing science and technology programs that one day could be used on lunar missions.

The incentive to leave:

Employees have until Dec. 9 to accept an incentive package. Those qualified could accept early retirement along with the buyout package. An employee's buyout check could be as high as $25,000, depending on the length of government service

What has happenned already:

Over the next year NASA managers want to cut about 2,000 jobs from the 17,086 people who work at the space agency.
In June, Marshall managers sought to slice 175 jobs from the Huntsville center and 70 people took the buyout packages.
In December 2004, 250 buyout packages were offered and 76 people accepted the plan.

Still along way to go...

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