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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: Lockheed is on a roll...
By goz314 on 9/1/2006 2:27:51 PM , Rating: 3
And it's yet another feather in the cap of the military industrial complex. Way to go NASA. Keep re-inforcing the system that screws the taxpayers.

Now, I'm not specifically picking on NASA with that comment. As an agency, it's budgets are paltry in comparison to that of the defense budget as a whole. My criticism is aimed more at our government continuing to support a select hand full of contractors and an industry as a whole that is extraordinarily wasteful. Sure, the federal government is inneficient by itself, but it's doubly so and somewhat vicariously through every single defense contractor out there.

By the way, the current cost of an F-22 when factoring in the R&D as well as the procurement cost is $339 million. The Pentagon has currently ordered 183 of them making the total program cost to taxpayers about $62 billion dollars. It's also standard practice for all defense contractors to low ball their estimates for projects to Congress, and then cry poor mouth when "unforseen" cost overruns pop up. -kind of makes $4 billion look like small change in comparison, huh?

As far as I'm concerned, Lockheed Martin can be lumped into the same leauge as Exxon Mobil. Both companies reap ungodly profits at the expense of every single American citizen. And we, as a populace, blindly accept the crap they feed us because either a.) we don't care, or b.) we do care, but we have very little say in the matter anyway due to forces beyond our control and a political system that has failed it's people.

OK, sorry for the rant.

RE: Lockheed is on a roll...
By Martin Blank on 9/1/2006 10:34:25 PM , Rating: 3
Exxon-Mobil made $10 billion in profits...

...after $90 billion in costs. That's right -- only a 10% profit margin. And income taxes? $8 billion there.

Defense contractors can be looked at a little differently, because they do some shady things. Oil companies take in their profits because they're in a fickle industry that can reward them -- ten years ago, some of them were struggling to stay afloat. Don't want to reward them? Don't use oil.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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