Lockheed Martin Team to Design and Build Successor to Space Shuttle as NASA's Primary Vehicle for Human Space Exploration
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today that it has selected the Lockheed Martin team to design and build the agency's next-generation human space flight crew transportation system known as Orion, with an initial contract value of approximately $4 billion.
Orion, an advanced crew capsule design utilizing state-of-the-art technology, is a key element of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, and will succeed the Space Shuttle in transporting a new generation of human explorers to and from the International Space Station, the Moon, and eventually to Mars and beyond.
In partnership with NASA, Lockheed Martin will serve as prime contractor and will lead a world-class industry team that includes Honeywell, Orbital Sciences Corporation, United Space Alliance and Hamilton Sundstrand, supporting NASA in the design, test, build, integration and operational capability of Orion.
"We are honored by the trust that NASA has placed in the Lockheed Martin team for this historic and vital step forward in human space exploration," said Bob Stevens, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. "Our entire team is fully committed to supporting NASA as we join together to help make the vision for space exploration a reality."
Orion will transport up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station, and up to four crew members for lunar missions. The new crew vehicle is designed to be an order of magnitude safer, more reliable, more affordable and more operationally efficient than previous human space flight systems.
"We are humbled and excited as we continue our legacy of five decades of partnership with NASA in every aspect of human and robotic space exploration," said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "Work already is underway and we are fully focused on the vital tasks that lie ahead to meet NASA's requirements for the program. We have a world- class team of highly dedicated, highly experienced women and men who are passionate about the success of NASA's missions."
The Lockheed Martin Orion program office is located in Houston, TX, co- located with NASA's Johnson Space Center, providing support in the areas of program management, requirements development, software development, avionics, human factors, and system qualification testing. Large structures and composites will be built at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA. Final assembly, checkout and acceptance testing of Orion for both the Crew Module and Service Module will be performed in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.
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