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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 Pirks on 9/1/2006 1:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody was specifically preventing large US corporations to do their own space research programs. They are just not interested - too much risk and chances of extracting any profit from say "asteroid mining" are close to zero. Space expl?ration remains a fundamental science so far, like mathematics/topology/chaos theory/etc - noone is able to extract solid profit from some obscure Perelman's proof of some topological theorem - same for this mining stuff. This is why so called private space exploration has became possible only after GOVERNMENT sent Rutan some money in a form of a prize. No government program - no Rutans, space tourists etc. Why so? Too much risk, cost is too high - space exploration is very distant topic on any large company exec's mind. They can extract MUCH more profit doing Earth based operations, hence at this point of time any talk about "private" space exploration is pure BS. I won't call an inflatable space hotel for rich whackos exactly a space _exploration_, you know. It's just like Windows - application of ideas discovered aeons ago by others - you won't call Windows an "OS exploration" project, will ya :)))))


By s12033722 on 9/5/2006 1:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
Just FYI, the $10 million Ansari X-Prize was not a goverment prize. It was fully private. In addition, Scaled Composites, the company developing SpaceShipOne, did so at a larger cost than the amount of the X-Prize. It is estimated that the cost was about $25 million, most of the funding for which came from Paul Allen.

I too would like to see private space exploration, but not for simple tourism. I would like to see null-g manufacturing, etc. form the financial basis for space exploration.


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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