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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 ekv on 9/24/2010 3:04:40 AM , Rating: 2
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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