NASA is holding off on providing updated projections on the number of jobs that may be lost within its highly technical workforce as it retires the space shuttle and transitions to its new moon program. The third edition of the NASA Space Shuttle Workforce Transition Strategy report, released on Wednesday, provides workforce estimates only through fiscal 2010, while the shuttle will still be flying. Estimates beyond fiscal 2010, when the shuttle is slated to retire, will remain unchanged until next month, when a presidential panel is scheduled to release its review of the future of the space agency's human spaceflight program, the report states.
NASA is implementing some innovative human capital strategies as it figures out how to take on the daunting challenge of transitioning its highly-skilled, technical workers to meet the demands of the new Constellation program, which will take Americans back to the moon and possibly to Mars and beyond.
But people issues aren't the only challenge for NASA. The agency also is determining what it will do with the shuttle programs' millions of pieces of hardware and other inventory, including the shuttle's orbiters, since buyers would have to shell out $42 million in cleaning and shipping costs to obtain one.