Michael Finneran For release: December 14, 1995
(804) 864-6121 (w) / 596-7936 (h)
RELEASE NO. 95-115
FEDERAL FURLOUGH WOULD HAVE MAJOR IMPACT ON NASA
A furlough of federal employees would shut down NASA Langley
Research Centers labs and approximately 30 wind tunnels and
cause research delays and lost data.
That would be the result of idling the majority of the 4,500
civil service and private contractor employees at NASA Langley. The
exact number of employees who would not be furloughed was
unavailable as of Thursday, but it is expected that fewer than 60
civil servants would be allowed to work. The number of contractors
who would be allowed to work had not been determined Thursday.
Annually, NASA Langley contributes about $250 million to the
Virginia economy, with nearly $200 million of it remaining in
Hampton Roads (see chart next page).
Each day of a shutdown at NASA Langley would cost roughly $1
million to keep the Center running at a minimal level and if civil
servants and contractors were paid.
The following is a sampling of the impacts that a 3-day
furlough of federal employees next week would have at NASA
X-33 and X-34 Reusable Launch Vehicle programs: Tunnel
testing, model designs and fabrications, and other work would be
severely impacted at Langley in the NASA-wide program to develop
two new launch vehicles, one of which (the X-33) is intended as a
candidate to replace the space shuttle.
Flight tests: Unless the programs were extended, delays
would occur and data would be lost from NASA Langley flight tests
scheduled to take place on aircraft at NASA Dryden Flight Research
Center in Edwards, Calif. One flight test series on an F-18 is
aimed at improving the flight characteristics of jet fighters.
Another scheduled to take place on an F-16XL is part of a program
to develop technology for a next-generation supersonic passenger
airliner capable of carrying 300 people at nearly 2-1/2 times the
speed of sound, about 1,500 mph.
NASA Langleys B-737 aircraft, a flying
laboratory, would be idled. The airplane has been flying
virtually dawn to dusk missions to meet milestones for the
supersonic passenger jet program.
Some tests probably would have to be skipped in the
8-Foot High-Temperature Tunnel, which is being used to develop a
jet engine that could fly hypersonically at speeds over
10,000 miles per hour.
Lost time in one wind tunnel, the Transonic Dynamics
Tunnel, could not be recovered because of an already compressed
schedule resulting from a planned construction shutdown in the
Langley contributions to economy
Virginia (fiscal 94): $240.2 million
Awards to businesses $216.6 million
Non-profit institutions $8.8 million
Educational institutions $14.8 million
Hampton Roads (fiscal 94): $193.6 million
Awards to businesses $177.5 million
Non-profit institutions $8.6 million
Educational institutions $7.5 million
Fiscal 1994 is the latest year for which figures are
Note the editors: More detail is available on furlough
impacts through the Office of Public Affairs. Also, a 40-page
Economic Impact report is available that shows NASA
Langleys contributions to the local, state and national
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text-only version of this release