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Five Questions for Huntsville Space Professionals

Nasaengineer contacted Huntsville Space Professionals to get an update on what is going on at MSFC and with the busy non-profit organization that was formed just a few months ago. Here’s five questions with HSP’s Communications & Education Director Chris McLemore-

Q: You must be getting a lot of information from people that are, or are about to be affected by layoffs at MSFC. Last Tuesday at an all-hands, MSFC Center Director Robert Lightfoot said the number may be 150-200. Assuming this meant just CxP and not Shuttle, do you think this is accurate?

A: I do believe Mr. Lightfoot’s suggestion of the 150-200 contractors being let go was accurate based on the more current changes to the Constellation Program. There were more contractors leaving their posts due to the Space Shuttle closeout, which made the total number of contractors leaving greater than 200.

Q: Can people contact HSP for help? What is HSP doing in the next few weeks?

A: Yes, please join HSP through our website. In the membership form, we ask what your preferred careers are. This information allows us to better serve everyone. In two weeks, we will have our HSP Career Workshop Oct. 15, 2010, where we will have area companies coming to share what kinds of jobs they have available and what part of industry they specialize in. We will provide resume pointers and what to include and what not to include on them. We will also open the floor for our HSP members to share what ideas they have about the types of services HSP can do for them.

Q: Should people stay in Huntsville and stick it out?

A: I do think there are going to be a lot of opportunities in the coming weeks in and around Huntsville. Although, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty circulating around, I do believe that with the $1.6 billion promised to commercial space and the new directional change toward more science research to occur on the ISS, there will be a large need for aerospace engineers and scientists in the near future. I believe that there will also be more work being done per usual among hundreds of people working together for these private space companies. There is multiplied value in working together for a common goal. This value will become more self-evident in the next few months.

Q: What’s the deal with this organization in Houston that is similar to HSP? Are you teaming up?

A: Currently, there is a group of individuals who feel compelled and inspired to have a non-profit to help those dislocated workers at JSC. They do not have a website or facebook group up and running just yet, but we do plan to help them get started. The leader has contacted us to thank us for the inspiration. More details to come on that front.

Q: Are you really doing a Commercial Space Summit in Huntsville in November?

A: The HSP National Commercial Space Summit will be held Nov.18, 2010 at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, the facility that houses an exact replica of the Saturn V rocket, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. NASA leaders, commercial space companies and the community are invited to learn about the commercial space vision and goals from a NASA perspective and private space perspective. This understanding will provide us with the direction and talent required to support these endeavors. We feel that with the money that was announced in the NASA Authorization bill that would put toward research for commercial space, and the massive amount of researchers we have in town, that the synergy is here, in Huntsville.

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