NASA research center offers 120 employees buyouts

A NASA research and engineering center in Alabama is offering buyouts to more than 100 employees in an effort to adjust its workforce to the post-shuttle era.

The space agency's Marshall Space Flight Center is giving 120 workers incentives to leave voluntarily. They will have to decide whether to accept the offer by Sept. 28. The center is located in Huntsville, Ala., and contributes research and engineering for programs such as the International Space Station.

A NASA spokeswoman said officials will not know the final dollar amount saved until the buyout process is completed.

The move is part of an overall restructuring effort for the center, as NASA leaves behind the space shuttle program, which ended in July with the flight of Atlantis to drop off supplies and scientific equipment at the International Space Station, and moves toward a new deep space exploration system. The buyouts will better align the center's workforce skills with the current mission, a Marshall spokeswoman said.

Many federal agencies have offered or are considering offering buyouts and early retirement options to reshape their workforces as budgets grow tighter.

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