NASA Considers Job Cuts to Fund Lunar Program

lorigarverNASA considering job cuts: Reduction tied to manned flights may affect Johnson Space Center
Houston Chronicle

NASA is considering cutting as much as 20 percent of its employee costs on the manned space program — including jobs at Houston’s Johnson Space Center — in hopes of salvaging money for ambitious back-to-the-moon plans, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver has told contractors for the agency.

The effort by Garver, a Clinton-era NASA official known for her willingness to shake things up, could potentially reap savings of $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually over the next two years on space operations and acquisition of the next generation spacecraft.

The savings would provide NASA a down payment on the $3 billion more a year that outside experts say the agency needs to eventually send astronauts beyond the orbiting International Space Station to the moon and passing asteroids as stepping stones to Mars.

The cutbacks would reduce the number of NASA personnel at contractors’ facilities to oversee space agency work as well as reduce the number of contractor personnel assigned to coordinate with NASA.

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