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Renovations aim to streamline space operations for the Orion Project.

Plans have been set in motion to get the nation's next space exploration vehicle prepared for flight. Lockheed Martin announced this week that they have a crew on-site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to began lean assembly path-finding operations for the Orion spacecraft.   

A full-scale Orion mock-up is being used to conduct simulated manufacturing and assembly operations to verify the tools, processes and spacecraft integration procedures.  

The finished product is expected to be fully assembled by Lockheed Martin on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center according to a press release from the company.

"The unique benefit of this complete on-site operation is that we will build the spacecraft and then move it directly onto the launch vehicle at KSC, which saves the government transportation costs associated with tests and checkout prior to launch,” said Lockheed Martin Orion Deputy Program Manager for production operations Richard Harris. “This capability also facilitates the KSC workforce transition efforts by providing new job opportunities for those employees completing their shuttle program assignments."

To help support NASA's next generation spacecraft fleet, Lockheed Martin and NASA worked together in a two-year effort on renovations for the Operations & Checkout Facility at the Kennedy Space Center.  

The collaboration produced a new and improved "O&C".  Paperless workstations, a portable clean room system, portable tooling stations, and air-bearing floor space were some of the upgrades that resulted in the state-of-the-art complex being dubbed the “the spacecraft factory of the future”.  

Lockheed Martin
 is currently the prime contractor to NASA for the Orion Project.



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RE: I'm sorry...
By rlandess on 9/23/2010 10:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'd agree that the decline in our space program is saddening. But I think your wrong about how this reflects on the current administration. I think the current president is very interested in the development of technology that will allow us to get off our little rock. The problem is that we spend a lot of money to do it right now, and right now money is tight. The vision for the future space program is to be driven by the private sector which is arguably the best way to drive down costs and make space travel a more regular thing for the private sector. To achieve this though there has to be a profit generating goal out there. There is not profit on mars, probably not on the moon. But maybe there could be on asteroids which have a relatively low cost to explore since you don't need to haul a lot of fuel in order to return. I think it's likely that is the reason we've changed the goal from a manned mission to mars to a manned mission to an asteroid.

But maybe manned exploration is unnecessary. Look at the mars rovers. Unmanned exploration has been the great achievement for NASA in the last couple decades. They've been able to a lot more for less $.


RE: I'm sorry...
By Callmeaslut on 9/23/2010 10:18:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But I think your wrong about how this reflects on the current administration. I think the current president is very interested in the development of technology that will allow us to get off our little rock. The problem is that we spend a lot of money to do it right now, and right now money is tight. The vision for the future space program is to be driven by the private sector which is arguably the best way to drive down costs and make space travel a more regular thing for the private sector.


Baloney. You sound like a spokesperson for the Obama administration. This IS 1960's technology. It's a tin can with an ablative shield on the bottom. Oh, and it holds more astronauts. Still fail.

In the scheme of things, a few more billion dollars for the space program will pay off in spades - with or without private carriers.

Speaking of private carriers, have you seen their offerings? - pitiful. Take a few private citizens to the edge of space to free fall again?

As I said earlier, there is no clear direction. And a lack of funding. We are going nowhere very slowly...


RE: I'm sorry...
By Jeffk464 on 9/23/2010 11:03:05 AM , Rating: 2
His statement is not Baloney, we are learning way way more about the universe from NASA's and Europe's unmanned programs.


RE: I'm sorry...
By Jeffk464 on 9/23/2010 11:10:33 AM , Rating: 5
P.S. I too am a little pissed off that Obama would rather spend money on welfare queens than on NASA. We get zero payback on the welfare queen budget, unless you count the future gangbangers they produce.


RE: I'm sorry...
By CarbonJoe on 9/24/2010 12:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We get zero payback on the welfare queen budget, unless you count the future Democratic voters they produce.


Fixed that for ya.


RE: I'm sorry...
By ekv on 9/24/2010 3:04:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The vision for the future space program is to be driven by the private sector which is arguably the best way to drive down costs and make space travel a more regular thing for the private sector.
Wait a sec. If you want to go private, ok. If you want to go public, though I disagree, for the sake of argument I'll say ok. But here is the "current administration" that spent their total freaking wad on the stimulus package, then wasted their reputation and the reputation of Congress (what little was left) by shoving the Health Care debacle down the taxpayers throat. Private for NASA. Public for Health. BS to everybody else.

How about some consistency. NASA actually makes stuff and the spin-offs are so positively staggering as to be difficult to enumerate. The Health Care pain starts now and will not get better. I'm not going to haul out the soap-box so I'll stop with that.

Your asteroid example is one huge reason the US ought to start now. But not simply for the sake of going to visit. We ought to look into the possibility of establishing mining and/or manufacturing operations in space. There is money to be made and the US ought to show some leadership. All for the fraction of the cost of either Stimulus or Health Care.


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