HOUSTON There was another wave of layoffs involving the United Space Alliance Friday and at least 500 people were given pink slips, according to sources. This was the third phase of the five-step layoff process. So far, about 700 people in all have lost their jobs in Houston.

USA laid off 1,550 workers immediately following the final space shuttle mission s July 21 landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, then announced that more layoffs were to come.

On the 12th of August, that s going to be our biggest layoff in Texas, spokeswoman Kari Fluegel told

The layoffs were expected to hit workers in Houston, Huntsville, Ala., and Huntington Beach, Calif., by the end of August. That would leave only the company, which once boated over 10,500 employees, with just over 3,100 workers left.

USA had notified nearly 2,900 employees in mid-May that they would be laid off between late July and the end of August.

Some of the notified employees, however, either found new positions within the company or left USA ahead of the layoffs, Fluegel said.

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