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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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RE: Space funding should be voluntary
By mezman on 9/1/2006 1:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
Says the libretarian.

Space funding is something that only governments are capable of due to the extreme cost of it all. If it were up to you, then we would have no space program at all and as a consiquence all the cool and lifestyle changing stuff that has been derived from it.

By Xavian on 9/2/2006 12:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
If thats so, whats happening to the current evolution of the SpaceShipOne spacecraft? It seems to me technology is advancing to such a point where individual companies can start profiting off of space travel.

Sure right now it doesn't pull away from the gravity of earth, but in time it could and as we all know about capitalism, once profit is found in a new market, the market explodes with new companies or old ones investing in it, causing rapid advancement.

I say keep an eye on Burt Rutan and the company Virgin in the near future as they could be pioneers for privately-funded space travel.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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