Print 63 comment(s) - last by Visual.. on Jul 23 at 6:29 AM

It has been challenging for the engineers to find jobs that pay as well as NASA

Engineers that once earned six-figure incomes with NASA's space shuttle program are now looking for work or taking jobs that are far below their skill level due to the retirement of the Discovery, Endeavor, and Atlantis shuttles. 

Last year, NASA retired each of the three remaining spacecraft in the U.S. space shuttle program, which lasted nearly 30 years. In February 2011, Space Shuttle Discovery was the first of the three to launch on its final mission with Space Shuttle Endeavour following in May 2011. Space Shuttle Atlantis was the last to go in July 2011.

Since the space shuttle fleet's retirement, about 7,400 engineers from the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County, Florida (also known as the Space Coast) were laid off. Today, there are only 8,500 workers at the Kennedy Space Center total when there used to be around 15,000.

A majority of those laid off were individuals in their 50s and 60s who made in the realm of $80,000 to over $100,000 annually. But now, these engineers are finding it difficult to locate jobs at their skill level that pay as well as NASA did. In fact, local Brevard County employers have asked that the Brevard Workforce, which is an unemployment agency, stop sending ex-space employees to them because they want salaries that are comparable to what they made at the Kennedy Space Center.

"STOP sending former Space Center employees," wrote one local employer. "They have an unrealistic salary expectation."

Aside from money issues, another problem the former engineers are facing is age. Many have been working for the Kennedy Space Center for decades. Other engineering options mainly take in the younger generations.

"Nobody wants to hire the old guy," said Terry White, a 62-year-old ex-project manager for the space shuttle program who was laid off last summer. "There just isn't a lot of work around here. Or if so, the wages are really small."

NASA's space shuttle fleet is gone for good, but some saw hope in the private sector, such as SpaceX. SpaceX is a California-based space technology company that recently stepped in when NASA retired the space shuttle program. Its Dragon spacecraft made history recently when it made the first private spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS).

However, SpaceX didn't require nearly as many employees as NASA did for its space shuttle fleet.

To make up for the loss, many former engineers are stuck having to either retire early, take lower-paying jobs, or collect unemployment.

Source: MSNBC

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RE: Just wait...
By GotThumbs on 7/17/2012 9:45:01 AM , Rating: 3

You Twits really think a real society could exist where everyone makes the same money and is equal in every way? The fact is that NOT everyone is equal. Everyone is unique and brings their own unique strengths and weaknesses. It's the people who have the drive and determination to succeed that do. The greatest thing about America in the past, is that if you truly want to could. Success is like respect. Its NEVER handed to you...You have to earn it. It's puttz who don't want to work hard each day to better themselves that are the problem. Now Obama whats to say the government is the reason why all businesses succeed (either its arrogance or stupidity on his part). The decade of entitlement is killing this country. I'm not wealthy but I bought and paid for everything I own. I don't over spend and I don't buy what I can't pay for.

Its the weak and stupid who are ignorant in thinking they are owed by others. 100 or 200 years ago many of the people of today would NOT survive. They would be dead, because everyone had to put in a days work before you eat and there were no handouts Today's youth spend hours playing games and are undernourished because they have been allowed to be picky eaters. Now wait until they have to step up and care for won't happen. More and more of these twits will remain home as Obama and the Dems expect. Why else would they extend the age they can remain under their parents insurance. All this accomplished was put the burden back on the parents and avoid the need to drive the economy so these kids will have an opportunity to be self-sufficient and be a true adult. They just want to play and have someone else do the laundry and wipe their A$$.

RE: Just wait...
By web2dot0 on 7/17/2012 1:12:20 PM , Rating: 1
I'm tired of everyone here beating people when they are down.

You bought and paid everything on your own? No one helped you when you where growing up? So you just fed yourselves from the time you were born? Who taught you at school?
Some get help less than others, but don't be delusion to think that you never got help along the way. No one EVER does anything on their own.

Ok, so you are saying that leave those people who can't afford insurance go uninsured. Guess what wise guy, when they have a life threatening illness, they'll show up at the hospital and even without insurance, their cost will be paid by the government. At the end, you didn't prevent anything, but helped early deaths and burdening the society with astronomical hospital costs. Unless of course, you believe in throwing them out of the ditch and let them die. Classy.

I'm in complete agreement on issues pertaining to making sure everyone does hard work. Every citizen's main goal in life should be about how to be a productive citizen. It's almost like a unwritten moral code of ethics. Being a useless person is generally frown upon in every society. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't help people who needs to be helped from time to time.

According to your ridiculous logic, who needs charity or "government handout". If you can't afford it, work harder!!! Tornado destroyed your home? Get your ass off the couch (or a lack of one) and get back to work!!! Homeless shelter? Leave them all out on the street, those lazy asses. Social programs? That's for losers.

RE: Just wait...
By Spuke on 7/17/2012 1:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't help people who needs to be helped from time to time.
Not sure where the rant came from as the person you replied to was pretty clear what he meant. No one's talking about letting the helpless or those that got a bad deal (ie just got laid off) hang out to dry. But you and I know that there are people that are entirely capable but way too lazy. And here in the US (not sure where you're from) they take up a sizable portion of government handouts. Portions that could've gone to all of those people that got laid off during the economic crash. I'd rather see those people get bigger unemployment checks (or lower amounts for a longer period) to lessen the pain of losing a job during a severe recession than feeding some lazy f#$k.

RE: Just wait...
By Schrag4 on 7/17/2012 2:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
No one EVER does anything on their own.

I have to take issue with this statement. Sure, we were all fed and clothed and sheltered and taught when we were young, but that's not the only side of the equation. Some people from disadvantaged homes turn out to be very productive members of society. Others from wealthy families, ones who had everything given to them including an expensive advanced education, end up being a drain on those around them. An individual is not necessarily limited by their circumstances, and also, an individual's desire to make something of his or herself can matter more than the circumstances that they grew up in. I don't feel that you give nearly enough credit to successful people for their own success, especially those that started with some disadvantage.

RE: Just wait...
By Ringold on 7/17/2012 9:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
No one EVER does anything on their own.

Gotta wonder, do you people have a website where you go to where Obama's campaign team gives you the talking points for the following few days? That's almost a perfect spin on what Obama said a couple days ago about entrepreneurs not doing it on their own.

Of course, my family took care of me when I was young, but I can tell you this: After that point, in my working career, no one, not a damn soul, is responsible for my successes (or failures) except for me. The government and all its loopholes merely slow me down, and its taxes lop off chunks of every dollar I earn through my labor and my wit to support the exploding numbers of people on disability, welfare, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid.

There's also free-market equivalents to some of what you're talking about, like tornado's. If you live in an area where they're common, and don't have insurance.... That's like living on the Florida coast and not having insurance that'd cover hurricanes and flooding. We're supposed to shed a tear for the beach bums, but who sheds a tear for me, the poor fool that pays taxes to bail out those beach bums or residents in Tornado Alley that somehow get caught off guard when a tornado strikes?

And you can be about hard work all you want, but liberalism fails when liberal theory meets cold hard reality, and in reality you get welfare queens. Not that welfare queens would understand it, but they're making semi-rational economic choices; why work hard when they can take it easy and game the system?

RE: Just wait...
By gnac on 7/18/2012 12:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
Feel free to help others with your OWN money. Not mine. Families and friends can help each other if they want. I should not be forced to help others through the government. Even families will reject their own if they continue to make bad choices. Give me an example of the government using tough love?

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