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USA Shutters Washington Office

WASHINGTON — United Space Alliance (USA), the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture established to operate and maintain NASA’s now-retired space shuttle fleet, has shut down its Washington lobbying operation, a company spokeswoman said.

In a Dec. 18 email, USA spokeswoman Tracy Yates confirmed the early December departure of Meghan Allen, who last year succeeded Kate Kronmiller as the company’s vice president of government affairs. “The USA Government Affairs position in Washington has been eliminated,” Yates said. “USA does not have a Washington, D.C. lobbying operation.”

Allen first joined USA in 2005 as director of legislative affairs in Washington. She came to the company from rocket engine maker Aerojet, part of Sacramento, Calif.-based Gencorp.

Allen could not be reached for comment on Dec. 18.

Her departure is the latest indication of USA’s sagging fortunes following the shuttle’s July 2011 retirement. In December of that year, industry sources confirmed that USA had been barred by its parent companies from seeking new business.

There were only about 2,500 people working for USA as of July 31, down from as many as 11,000 in 2005, when the shuttle program was still going strong. The Houston based company still holds several government contracts, which are keeping what remains of its workforce busy in Florida and Texas.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin want some of that business for themselves, according to one former USA employee. Boeing and Lockheed “haven’t got enough work for their own badges, let alone for USA’s,” the former employee told SpaceNews Dec. 17.

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