Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Uncertainty concerns PWR

The failure to devise a spaceflight plan for NASA after the shuttle fleet is retired raises the specter of more workforce cuts in the U.S. launch industry, according to the head of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. Jim Maser estimates that NASA, the White House and Congress have "four to eight months" to choose a way forward. After that, he expects layoffs at PWR he begins to roll up unfunded rocket engine programs like the J-2X cryogenic upper-stage engine. Developed for the Ares I crew launch vehicle under the old Constellation program, the first full-up J-2X is set to begin testing at Stennis Space Center, Miss., next month. (Source: Aviation Week, 03/08/11)