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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

DOWNEY : NASA Could Transfer Shuttle Operations

March 17, 1995

NASA officials are considering shifting the space shuttle production program from Rockwell International Corp.'s Downey plant to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to cut costs.

About 2,000 of the 3,250 workers at Rockwell's Space Systems Division in Downey work on the shuttle, company officials said. An additional 450 work on a related program in Palmdale.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials are scheduled to make some cost-cutting decisions this spring, said Rockwell spokesman Alan Buis. He emphasized that the possible shift in the shuttle program "is not an (official) recommendation. It is a piece of paper with people's thoughts on it, one of many possibilities."

The agency has been directed to trim its $14-billion annual budget by $5 billion over five years.

City Manager Gerald M. Caton said Downey is concerned about the possibility of losing the high-paying shuttle jobs. "We're taking it very seriously since NASA is under the gun for budget cuts," he said.

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