Boeing to Cut 510 Jobs as Shuttle Program Winds Down

Shuttle ProgramREUTERS -- Boeing Co will lay off about 510 employees in its Space Exploration division as the United States' space shuttle program draws to a close.

There will be no material impact on the company as a result of the job cuts, a spokesman for Boeing's Space Exploration division told Reuters.

The employees' last workday is scheduled to be Aug. 5, pending completion of the final shuttle mission, the company said in a statement.

The United States is retiring its three-ship shuttle fleet due to high operating costs and to free up funds to develop new spacecraft that can travel beyond the space station's 220-mile-high orbit.

Earlier this week, space shuttle Endeavour touched down at its Florida home base, ending the next-to-last mission in the space shuttle program.

Shuttle Atlantis is slated to launch July 8 on NASA's final planned shuttle mission.

Shares of the Chicago-based Boeing closed at $74.84 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore, editing by Jonathan Thatcher.)

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