Retiring shuttle may doom 38,200 Space Coast jobs, Orlando Sentinel
"Shuttle Discovery is set to launch from Kennedy Space Center at about 9:20 tonight, leaving only eight more scheduled missions before NASA retires the fleet in 2010 -- and devastates the Space Coast economy. Figures released by NASA this week predict the retirement of the shuttle will result in the loss of at least 3,500 jobs at KSC. Some industry officials say the number could be as high as 10,000. The best-case scenario would result in the loss of about 9,870 other jobs in the surrounding community; the worst-case number is 28,200. But the one Floridian in Washington who has the most stature and clout to fight to keep that from happening -- U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat who once flew aboard the shuttle -- has been able to do little to prevent the looming economic disaster."