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Boeing to Close Valley Plant

Times Staff Writer

Boeing Co. expects to shutter its storied Rocketdyne engine-manufacturing facility in Canoga Park by 2010, when the space shuttle is scheduled to be retired from service.

Boeing last year began moving workers from the 47-acre property, where it makes the main rocket engines for the space shuttle, to a larger facility a few miles away in Canoga Park.

The smaller property is adjacent to major shopping center developments and would be put up for sale, but Boeing said it had not lined up a buyer.

During its heyday in the 1960s, the facility employed more than 25,000 engineers and technicians as they developed and built rocket engines for various space programs, including the Apollo missions to the moon.

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With a decades-long decline in rocket launches, that site’s workforce dropped to about 1,100 in recent years.

A Boeing spokesman said the company expected to have all of the workers and machinery moved to a separate, 50-acre facility on De Soto Avenue by the time the space shuttles are retired in five years. This larger complex was recently refurbished to accommodate additional workers.


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