CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., 27 Feb. 2006. Lockheed Martin has announced, in partnership with the State of Florida, its plans to locate final assembly and testing of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) in Florida if the corporation is successful in its bid to provide the next-generation crew transportation system for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The CEV, a blunt-body crew capsule design, is a key element of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, and will transport up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station and up to four crew members for lunar missions, to Mars and beyond.
Lockheed Martin is leading a team that is competing to help NASA develop and produce a CEV that will be safer, more reliable, and more cost-effective than previous human spaceflight systems.
As NASA retires its venerable Space Shuttle system in 2010, the new Crew Exploration Vehicle will carry forward the next generation of astronauts to Earth orbit, back to the moon, and on to farther destinations.
In support of the State of Florida's extensive heritage in NASA's space flight endeavors and the state's strong interest in maintaining a key role in NASA's CEV program, Governor Jeb Bush has proposed incentives valued at $45.5 million for the CEV program to cover training, transportation infrastructure, facility improvements, and equipment.
In trade studies, Lockheed Martin looked closely at the benefits of using facilities located in Florida for final assembly, integration, and subsystem checkout, environmental acceptance testing, and Crew Module maintenance, for both the CEV Crew Module and Service Module. The final assembly and integration will be located in the O&C facility located on-site at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), a state-of-the-art facility that will be specifically configured to support CEV final assembly and acceptance testing. Locating the final assembly and integration operations in proximity with the launch operations will provide much greater efficiency in the flow of testing and operations leading to launch. In addition, the synergies gained by utilizing KSC for assembly and integration will provide NASA with greater operational flexibility during the final integration of the CEV with the Crew Launch Vehicle.