After 37 years of having a major role in the manned space program, Lockheed Martin Corp. has made it official.
The company says the era of building space shuttle fuel tanks at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility is over, along with scores of jobs.
Left behind from a payroll once totaling more than 5,000 are 600 workers whose futures are tenuous. Lockheed Martin said some of those remaining are working on a component for the Constellation program — which Congress wants to get rid of. The rest are providing launch and landing services for the soon-to-be-discontinued shuttle program.
The last of the 136 external fuel tanks built at Michoud through the years arrived at the Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 27.