WASHINGTON 1 September 2006. 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 an industry team that includes Honeywell, Orbital Sciences Corp., United Space Alliance, and Hamilton Sundstrand, supporting NASA in the design, test, build, integration, and operational capability of Orion.
Orion will transport as many as six crew members to and from the International Space Station, and as many as 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," says 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.
The Lockheed Martin Orion program office is located in Houston, 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. Final assembly, checkout, and acceptance testing of Orion for both the Crew Module and Service Module will be performed in the Operations and Checkout facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corp. 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.