He said the industry could undergo "some structural changes" after the shuttle program ends this summer. "I think it could get very traumatic and damaging by the end of this year," Maser added.
Maser said Rocketdyne was looking to diversify its business portfolio by growing in missile defense, energy and solar power technology and other areas.
REVENUE TO DROP THIS YEAR
Maser said NASA accounts for 60 percent of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's revenue now, down from as much as 80 percent four years ago.
"We've been investing in our core products and technology but also in a diversification approach that we think is making for a healthier business," Maser said.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, which has about 2,800 workers, has cut staff about 15 percent over the past year through voluntary retirements, layoffs and attrition, Maser said. Amid the shuttle program uncertainty, he added revenue at Rocketdyne will drop this year.
Maser said the management of parent United Technologies expected the Rocketdyne business to work its way through the current business cycle.
"I think that once this settles out, I had better have a good path back to growth," he added.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs, editing by Bernard Orr)