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Space shuttle workers to lose jobs

The private contractor that handles the bulk of the work servicing Nasa's space shuttle fleet is notifying 1,400 employees that they will be laid off in the autumn.

United Space Alliance this week began telling workers, including 900 employees at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral and others in Texas and Alabama, that they are expected to be let go by October 1 as part of planned reductions from the end of the space shuttle programme.

Laid off workers will receive between four and 26 weeks of pay, depending on their years of service.

The shuttle programme now employs about 8,700 contractors, down from 12,000 employees in October 2008.

It also employs another 1,200 civil workers, who are expected to be assigned to new programmes after the shuttle comes to the end of its working life.

The last shuttle flight is expected next year.

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From Belfast Telegraph