Today marks the last day for more than 1200 NASA workers who have been laid off from the space agency. The $19 billion budget that passed Congress two days ago will not affect the layoffs, according to Lori Garver, NASA deputy administrator.
The laid off employees reported to their workstations for the last time on Thursday. Many of the workers for the shuttle program have been there since the beginning of the program in the 1980s.
On Wednesday, the House passed the NASA Reauthorization Act after the bill received approval from the Senate. This Act allowed the agency to go ahead with the NASA strategy that President Barack Obama has set.
The bill was passed with an overwhelming majority. It is expected that Obama will sign the bill. How much money goes to each program in NASA will be determined after the elections in November.
As a part of the bill there will be an added shuttle launch. This will cause the retirement date for the program to move from February 2011 to June 2011. The June mission will allow the agency to add supplies to the space station, thereby extending the life of the space station until 2020.
It’s expected that 9,000 shuttle workers will be out of work when the shuttle program ends after the June 2011 launch.