United Space Alliance on Friday will let 68 local employees go in its last round of layoffs tied to retirement of the space shuttle program.

After the cuts, the company that served as NASA's prime shuttle contractor since 1996 and once employed more than 6,500 people here will have just 154 employees left on the Space Coast.

"A small number of USA employees will remain in Florida to close out the Florida-based contracts/operations," a company spokesperson said in an email to Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

NASA closed its Shuttle Transition and Retirement office at the end of March.

USA continues to support International Space Station operations with more than 800 employees in Texas and about 90 in Alabama.

The joint venture owned by The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. says its parent companies continue to discuss its future.