Tuesday, March 9, 2004

NASA faces rush of retirees: "A pipeline once filled with American science and engineering graduates is shrinking. Students no longer see the aerospace industry as a choice career path. Higher-paying private sector jobs are alluring, and interest in federal service is declining.

"Together, those factors raise serious questions about NASA's ability to recruit and retain a new generation of scientists, engineers and technologists needed to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020 and then on to Mars years after that."

"Nearly 40 percent of the 18,146 people at NASA are age 50 or older. Those with 20 years government service now are eligible for early retirement. Twenty-two percent of NASA workers are age 55 or older. Those with 30 years service now are eligible for full retirement benefits. NASA employees over 60 outnumber those under 30 by a ratio of about 3 to 1. A scant 4 percent of workers are under 30."

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