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[b]NASA Selects Lockheed Martin To Be Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Prime Contractor[/b]
NASA selected Wednesday Lockheed Martin Corp., based in Bethesda, Md., as the prime contractor to design, develop, and build Orion, America's spacecraft for a new generation of explorers.
Orion will be capable of transporting four crewmembers for lunar missions and later supporting crew transfers for Mars missions. Orion could also carry up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station.
The first Orion launch with humans onboard is planned for no later than 2014, and for a human moon landing no later than 2020. Orion will form a key element of extending a sustained human presence beyond low-Earth orbit to advance commerce, science and national leadership.
The contract with Lockheed Martin is the conclusion of a two-phase selection process. NASA began working with the two contractor teams, Northrop Grumman/Boeing and Lockheed Martin, in July 2005 to perform concept refinement, trade studies, analysis of requirements and preliminary design options. Lockheed Martin will be responsible for the design, development, testing, and evaluation (DDT&E) of the new spacecraft.
Manufacturing and integration of the vehicle components will take place at contractor facilities across the country. Lockheed Martin will perform the majority of the Orion vehicle engineering work at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, and complete final assembly of the vehicle at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. All 10 NASA centers will provide technical and engineering support to the Orion project.
The contract is structured into separate schedules for DDT&E with options for production of additional spacecraft and sustaining engineering. During DDT&E, NASA will use an end-item cost-plus-award-fee incentive contract. This makes the award fee subject to final determination after the contractor has demonstrated that it meets the technical, cost, and schedule requirements of the contract.
DDT&E work is estimated to occur from Sept. 8, 2006, through Sept. 7, 2013. The estimated value is $3.9 billion.
Production and sustaining engineering activities are contract options that will allow NASA to obtain additional vehicles as needed. Delivery orders over and above those in the DDT&E portion will specify the number of spacecraft to be produced and the schedule on which they should be delivered.
Post-development spacecraft delivery orders may begin as early as Sept. 8, 2009, through Sept. 7, 2019, if all options are exercised. The estimated value of these orders is negotiated based on future manifest requirements and knowledge gained through the DDT&E process and is estimated not to exceed $3.5 billion.
Sustaining engineering work will be assigned through task orders. The work is expected to occur from Sept. 8, 2009, through Sept. 7, 2019, with an estimated value of $750 million, if all options are exercised.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today that it has selected the Lockheed Martin team to design and build the agency's next-generation human space flight crew transportation system known as Orion, with an initial contract value of approximately $4 billion.
Orion, an advanced crew capsule design utilizing state-of-the-art technology, is a key element of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, and will succeed the Space Shuttle in transporting a new generation of human explorers to and from the International Space Station, the Moon, and eventually to Mars and beyond.
In partnership with NASA, Lockheed Martin will serve as prime contractor and will lead a world-class industry team that includes Honeywell, Orbital Sciences Corporation, United Space Alliance and Hamilton Sundstrand, supporting NASA in the design, test, build, integration and operational capability of Orion.
"We are honored by the trust that NASA has placed in the Lockheed Martin team for this historic and vital step forward in human space exploration," said Bob Stevens, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. "Our entire team is fully committed to supporting NASA as we join together to help make the vision for space exploration a reality."
Orion will transport up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station, and up to four crew members for lunar missions. The new crew vehicle is designed to be an order of magnitude safer, more reliable, more affordable and more operationally efficient than previous human space flight systems.
"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," said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "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."
The Lockheed Martin Orion program office is located in Houston, TX, co-located with NASA's Johnson Space Center, providing support in the areas of program management, requirements development, software development, avionics, human factors, and system qualification testing. Large structures and composites will be built at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA. Final assembly, checkout and acceptance testing of Orion for both the Crew Module and Service Module will be performed in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.
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