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NASA Downsizing, Layoffs, RIFs

Things sure have changed at NASA since the happy days of late September, 2010, when at last a NASA Bill was passed that seemed to settle the CxP, Heavy Lift, budget and government vs commercial crew issues, all at once.

Here it is a few months later, and no appropriation to get the above moving is even in the rumor mill it seems. We have a new Congress pulling it in every direction, sparring between Senators and NASA folks, continuing contractor layoffs here and there and the latest rumor is that civil servant RIFs will start if the current CR the government is running under becomes still another CR. Considering the Congress we have now, you can just about count on it.

Wasn’t there language in the NASA Bill that stated no civil servant RIFs?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. When an organization wants to downsize bad enough, it will find a way.

That does seem to be the case. Ever since last June, when the largest of the CxP layoffs happened over that trumped up technicality called ADA, there has been a consistent pattern of reducing the number of people working for NASA as contractors, and not so much a squeeze on other pieces of the same pie, like contracts for elements of CxP. In other words, less people at centers, but don’t touch companies working elements on contracts.

It is still going on. There was a huge fuss in the news after this Congress took a seat about NASA still working on a cancelled rocket. All this was NASA still paying companies working on elements, because the NASA people themselves were already gone and doing other things.

It continues. Even though NASA people are trying to get ready to work on the intent of the NASA Bill, mainly the SLS, people are still being laid off quietly, in smaller numbers, and now the civil servant RIF thing starts kicking around.

Hopefully, by the time Congress gets around to appropriating money for SLS, there will be someone left to dig up the notes and pass them on to whatever outside contractor got to Congress last to do the work instead!

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4 Responses to “NASA Downsizing, Layoffs, RIFs”

  • Ferris Valyn:

    The issue remains though – we don’t need SLS. And its even worse on trying to work on Commercial Crew right now.

  • Space:

    Let’s say you are right.

    Congress wanted it. They voted for it. They have not voted for the money for it.

    While Congress dithers, NASA has a steady stream of people going away.

    Commercial Crew isn’t going to benefit from this dithering, money squeezing Congress either.

    The more they drag it on, the worse it looks for everyone.

  • Ferris Valyn:

    I am not for dragging this out. I will agree we need, at a minimum, the Shelby amendment gone, if not the full appropriation (I would love to see the full approps happen, at least as it relates to Commercial Crew as well as other programs)

    That said, SLS remains unneeded.

    And to go back to an earlier post you put up – there are definitely some people in congress who need to be replaced

  • We’ve needed a new HLV since Nixon decommissioned the Saturn V back in the early 1970s. If we had retained our HLV capability, we’d already be on the Moon and private industry would also probably be there too– along with private tourist!

    Trying to kill NASA, the goose that laid the golden eggs, would be an extremely bad idea for the emerging private manned spaceflight companies and even worse for the American economy. We’d be a much poorer country if the Federal government had not heavily invested in aerospace technology over the past 60 years.

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