MSFC may have to layoff 150-200 more contractors very soon if Congress passes a CR that just continues the program of record (POR), without allowing work to go forward on heavy lift. This was the word from an all-hands at MSFC today.
MSFC has planned out two scenarios to go forward. If Congress passes a CR that contains language to allow work on the heavy lift rocket to begin, the impact to the workforce should be minimal. MSFC is ready to go and just needs the nod. If the CR is a “clean CR,” work on the Ares 1 Upper Stage stops anyway, and this is where the layoffs hit. NASA will have money and work goes forward on solid boosters and Orion, but the Upper Stage is wrapped and put away.
This just affects contractors, not NASA-badged employees.
After the ADA fuss in June and the layoff of about 600 contractors, MSFC had just under 190 people busy wrapping up the Upper Stage (contractors and NASA people). These contractors won’t be funded if the CR doesn’t allow them to work on the heavy lift right away.
It doesn’t make sense at this point for Congress to pass an authorization to do heavy lift, if they don’t also allow the work to go forward with language in the CR. The Bill they are looking at still needs an authorization, and that could leave NASA working from a CR for months.
There is a lot to read online about the status of the Bill.
“Realigning NASA’s Direction” on Nasawatch has 4 links.
“Finally: Some agreement on NASA’s future in Congress,” from the Huntsville Times.
“Griffin Urges House to Vote “No” on Senate NASA Authorization Bill,” from Spacepolicyonline.
See also: Spacepolitics.com.Share