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Lockheed Martin wins $4 billion USD contract

Last week it was announced that the name Orion had been selected for NASA's next generation crew exploration vehicle (CEV). Yesterday it was announced that Lockheed Martin would be responsible for building the vehicle that will be pivotal in once again landing Americans back on the moon. The Orion CEV contract is worth an estimated $4 billion USD.

The Orion CEV will not only be responsible for transporting astronauts to the moon, but in earlier missions it will serve as a Space Shuttle successor transporting up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station. Only a crew of four is possible for lunar missions.

“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. 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,” Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

The Orion CEV is designed to be not only much safer than previous manned space vehicles, but it will also be more efficient, more reliable and more affordable as well. NASA hopes to have the new crew vehicle operational by 2014 with manned missions to the moon taking place before 2020.

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By Dfere on 9/1/2006 12:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
Just to build the damn thing? We are not talking total project costs here (Cost of the progam in total.) They have to have a launch/delivery rocket already designed, and I cannot think that we have to spend a huge amount of money building from a proven design we already built in the 1960's and 70's.


By Martin Blank on 9/1/2006 10:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
From the Wikipedia article on the Apollo Project:

"The cost of the entire program is estimated at $135 billion (2006) Dollars ($25.4 billion in 1969 Dollars). The Apollo spacecraft cost $28 billion (2006) dollars to develop: $17 billion for the command and service modules, and $11 billion for the Lunar Module. The Saturn I, IB and V launch vehicle development cost about $46 billion."

Developing the Orion project for $4 billion is a relative steal.

By doctor sam adams on 9/4/2006 10:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
Developing the Orion project for $4 billion is a relative steal.

Steal indeed. Do you think if the program gets canceled, diminished, or simply starved to death, Lockheed Martin will refund any of these "development funds"? Sounds like we'll be hearing many more tales of $1,000 screwdrivers.

By JeffDM on 9/1/2006 10:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what the trips themselves might cost.

The last time around, each manned moon shot costed about one billion each in the money of the day. Scale that up by thirty years of inflation and that's about $4B per trip.

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