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Shuttle News

SLEP Upgrade Cancellation and Job Loss

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
December 15, 2004

15 December 2004: Editor’s note: NASA has announced plans to cancel three Space Shuttle Upgrades projects – Cockpit Avionics Upgrade, Vehicle Health Monitoring System and the Advanced Health Management System. Internal memos from Boeing and USA address the issue of job changes and transfers.

From: USA Communications
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 4:40 PM
Subject:Important CEO/COO Message

December 9, 2004

Dear Colleagues,

Today, NASA announced plans to cancel three Space Shuttle Upgrades projects – Cockpit Avionics Upgrade, Vehicle Health Monitoring System and the Advanced Health Management System. These cancellations are intended to help the agency better align its resources and priorities with the new national Vision for Space Exploration, an initiative that we fully support.

The cancellations are expected to affect less than 150 USA employees associated with the projects. By seeking placement opportunities within the company, transfer opportunities with Boeing and Lockheed Martin we hope to avoid or minimize involuntary separations. In the event that some involuntary separations are necessary, we will work with local industry to help identify placement opportunities as well.

We’re working with NASA to define an orderly closeout, and the final impacts will be defined over the next few weeks. While disappointing, these changes are not a surprise and we are well prepared to assist those who are affected to find new roles in the company or new opportunities for their continuing careers.

These changes in priorities do not signal a change in our mission, which is to return the Shuttle to safe flight and to fly safely each and every time as we complete the assembly of the International Space Station. We have already made giant strides toward those goals, and the return to flight is within sight. With your continued vigilance and commitment to safety and quality, every mission will be as safe or safer than the one before it.


(Original signed by)

Michael J. McCulley
President & CEO

(Original signed by)

Brewster H. Shaw
Executive Vice President & COO

Editor’s note: Internal Boeing News Memo


NASA’s recent decision to discontinue the Space Shuttle Service Life Extension Program will affect about 20 to 30 Boeing employees. A plan is under way to transfer these individuals to other programs within the company.”

“NASA identified the shuttle’s Vehicle Health Monitoring System, Cockpit Avionics Upgrade and Advanced Health Management System as no longer considered effective following a review to identify the enhancements that could be effectively implemented during the shuttle’s remaining operational life to improve safety and reliability.

“We are committed to finding positions for our people and will do our best to avoid layoffs or work interruptions to our customers,” said Steve Oswald, vice president and program manager, Boeing Space Shuttle Program.

About 25 employees in Huntington Beach, Calif., and five employees in Houston are affected. Employees associated with the projects at Rocketdyne Power and Propulsion in Canoga Park, Calif., and Huntsville, Ala., were transferred to other programs in October.”

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