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  Lockheed Martin awarded Orion contract

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Author Topic:   Lockheed Martin awarded Orion contract
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-31-2006 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release

NASA Selects Lockheed Martin To Be Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Prime Contractor

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.


Lockheed Martin release
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.

John K. Rochester
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posted 08-31-2006 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CNN.com says NASA last used Lockheed-Martin to build the X-33 at a cost of $912 million.
...never got built because of technical problems... [and] usually builds unmanned rockets.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-31-2006 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Space.com/Space News:
Lockheed Martin has long dominated NASA's robotic planetary spacecraft business and now has the opportunity to do the same in human spaceflight.
If I understand correctly, the primary difference between Orion and X-33 is that with the earlier program, the vehicle design was left almost entirely to the contractor (Lockheed Martin). For this project, NASA has provided the corporation with specific requirements. Lockheed's ability to alter the overall concept is limited to such things as round, rather than rectangular solar arrays (though that in-of-itself is a simplication, its the example which gained the most attention today).

Bill Hunt
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posted 08-31-2006 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems to me, the X-33 required major technological advances in several areas, including materials (composite fuel tanks, etc) that were right on the cutting edge of what was available at the time (and indeed beyond it in some ways). Orion is going to rely largely on proven current technology, as well as some new hardware based on familiar, legacy designs. The idea of the X-33, or any kind of seriously reusable SSTO space plane, is still a bit pie in the sky unfortunately. Orion should be much more practical. Still expensive, but absolutely doable.

Rodina
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posted 09-01-2006 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay -- and I hope I'm wrong -- while my gut tells me this program is stillborn, I sure think the solar panels look cool.

gaetanomarano
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posted 09-01-2006 05:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gaetanomarano   Click Here to Email gaetanomarano     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's very interesting to know:
  1. more tech details about LM Orion weights, dimensions, etc.

  2. similar info (and drawings) of the Boeing version
Do you have any link?

mensax
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posted 09-01-2006 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was there... will there ever be... any reasons given for NASA's selection of Lockheed over Northrop?

issman1
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posted 09-01-2006 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Call me a cynic, but NASA has given the monopoly to the US military/industrial complex.

Lockheed is an arms manufacturer with little or no success (X-33) in developing a successful human-rated vehicle, but experts in building WMDs.

Why was a company like Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites never considered? History shows that the likes of Boeing, Lockheed, etc have always come in late and over-budget.

I for one am genuinely excited by the prospect of seeing humans return to the Moon, but completely unimpressed by this announcement. Even NASA's man in the loop, Scott Horowitz, resorted to hyperbole and soundbite.

Just who on this forum actually believes Orion will fly by 2014? Until then, how will US and Western astronauts get their ride post-Shuttle? Russia or China, I hazard to guess?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gaetanomarano:
more tech details about LM Orion weights, dimensions, etc.; similar info (and drawings) of the Boeing version
Lockheed Martin nor Northrop Grumman (Boeing was a team member with NG) has as of yet chosen to publish their proposals and NASA has said it will not release them due to proprietary information.

To date, Lockheed has published a fact sheet (PDF) that offers more of a summary than specifics.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mensax:
Was there... will there ever be... any reasons given for NASA's selelction of Lockheed over Northrop?
From The New York Times:
In a late-afternoon news conference to announce the decision, NASA was tight-lipped about the reasons, saying the details of the two competing bids were "proprietary." Doug Cooke, a deputy associate administrator who led the selection team, said both proposals "were sound and carefully prepared."

Mr. Cooke said the Lockheed Martin design looked "achievable," an indication that it relied more heavily on known technologies than developing new ones. "This is a design that is based on known capabilities," he said.

KSCartist
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posted 09-01-2006 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Call me a cynic, but NASA has given the monopoly to the US military/industrial complex.
Scaled Composites didn't enter the "competition." Burt Rutan will be long remembered as a genius but he doesn't like to place nice with the government. He believes (and maybe rightly so) that there is too much red tape to deal with and its that red tape that drives up the cost and him crazy.

I work for a company that provides material to the government (DoD and NASA) and we have to have a pile of paperwork that proves our material meets their specifications. It's a pain but in this world run by lawyers, totally necessary.

Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites has a bright future and you and I will see many government and private space vehicles fly in our life time.

P.S. Call me a pie in the sky optimist but I think it will fly on time in 2009, manned in 2012 and return to the Moon on the 50th Anniversary 2019.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Why was a company like Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites never considered?
Any company could have participated in the Phase 1 proposal stage, from which NASA selected Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman (with Boeing) to move on to Phase 2 (from which they selected the contract winner yesterday).

Scaled was originally part of a team comprised of other "new space" companies, including t/Space and SpaceX that had said they would enter a proposal during Phase 1 but withdrew soon thereafter that citing the paperwork required was too much for their team to handle. From New Scientist:

"NASA wants 40 to 50 monthly reports on what you're doing," David Gump, president of the Transformational Space consortium told New Scientist on Monday. And while "we could build a great Crew Exploration Vehicle", Gump says, the consortium cannot comply with the reports and studies NASA stipulates to monitor the project.

gaetanomarano
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posted 09-01-2006 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gaetanomarano   Click Here to Email gaetanomarano     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...and NASA has said it will not release them due to proprietary information...
I don't refer to design secrets... only the main specs (that will be common known in the next years).

About NG/Boeing, I hope they will release (at least) an (innocent) picture of their design.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unlike Lockheed, NG/Boeing did release renderings of their design before the contract was awarded.

gaetanomarano
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posted 09-01-2006 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gaetanomarano   Click Here to Email gaetanomarano     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know it since five months ago (when no animations was available) but LM has changed it in the final CEV design. The image I wish to see is the final Boeing design given to NASA for the contract-race.

John Youskauskas
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posted 09-01-2006 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Youskauskas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My question is this: How does the COTS program fit into NASA's LEO plans if the new CEV is basically fulfilling the same role?

It seems they will have a variety of spacecraft to choose from to serve the ISS. At this time we don't know how many Orions will be built, but it may be that COTS fills in once the CEV starts lunar flights. I don't think NASA has been too clear on how this will all be integrated in an affordable program.

A thought on Lockheed Martin being selected to build Orion... that leaves Northrop/Grumman in the running for the lander. Grumman batted 1000 in Apollo and NASA may have considered that in its' selection process.

gaetanomarano
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posted 09-01-2006 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gaetanomarano   Click Here to Email gaetanomarano     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Simply! If COTS manned capsules will born and fly they will kill the orbital-CEV.

If they will not born in time (or will be cargo-only or unreliable for manned flights) the only orbital vehicle will be the CEV and the NASA-funded commercial space will die.

spaceuk
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posted 09-01-2006 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Isn't this contract to Lockheed team for the Orion CM/SM modules only - leaving the contract for the LM still to be issued?

The Boeing led team could still be in running for this maybe?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceuk:
The Boeing led team could still be in running for this maybe?
Yes, the LSAM contract is still to be competed, though NASA has reportedly said that it will not be anytime soon.

Boeing, by the way, has not led a team. Northrop Grumman was the lead for Orion. The rumors have been that Boeing has been looking to get out of the space business altogether.

Combining comments made in an earlier post:

quote:
Originally posted by John Youskauskas:
A thought on Lockheed Martin being selected to build Orion... that leaves Northrop/Grumman in the running for the lander. Grumman batted 1000 in Apollo and NASA may have considered that in its' selection process.
The NG of today is quite different than the Grumman of yesterday. NASA made comments on Thursday that neither of the Orion competing teams had anyone left from the days of Apollo.

micropooz
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posted 09-01-2006 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Youskauskas:
How does the COTS program fit into NASA's LEO plans if the new CEV is basically fulfilling the same role?
The COTS is intended to carry most of the cargo to the space station. The CEV will carry the people and just a little cargo.

zee_aladdin
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posted 09-01-2006 09:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for zee_aladdin   Click Here to Email zee_aladdin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cool! Finally, another exciting lunar space program and I will get to see it from beginning to end.

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posted 09-01-2006 09:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FutureAstronaut   Click Here to Email FutureAstronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Take a look at this. Watch the animations at the bottom, especially the Orion Cockpit.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Coalition for Space Exploration issued several statements regarding the Orion contract award to Lockheed Martin:
"The announcement demonstrates concrete progress is being made with the Vision for Space Exploration. It won't be long before construction begins, which means job security for thousands across the country... money not spent in space but on Earth to help keep our economy strong. The money spent on the Vision becomes an investment in our future -- the benefits coming in the form of new technology, medical advances, consumer products and, most importantly in my opinion, education."

-- Captain Eugene Cernan, veteran of three Apollo space flights, last man to walk on the moon

"The hallmark of this announcement in our space program is that it will positively affect every single American. We can't deny the tangible benefits space brings to the table. It's a long roster -- more than 1,500 documented products -- all derived from space technology. Fire fighters use drastically improved fire-retardant gear. Meteorologists depend on enhanced weather- forecasting tools. We sleep in homes equipped with smoke alarms developed in the Apollo program. The list goes on. And on."

-- Captain James Lovell, commander of historic Apollo XIII mission, veteran of two Apollo missions

"At a time when our nation is faced with so many urgent issues that compete annually for our national resources, many Americans are wondering, 'What's the point?' The point is that a major national initiative like this has never been more important than it is right now. Our world leadership and economic security are being globally challenged while our way of life is depleting the known natural resources of our planet. Space exploration is a critical tool in winning these battles for our country and for the sake of future generations."

-- Dr. Rhea Seddon, veteran of three shuttle flights, assistant chief medical officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jeffrey Kluger, co-author of Lost Moon with Jim Lovell (later retitled Apollo 13) writes about NASA's selection of Lockheed Martin for TIME Magazine:
The Right Builder for the Right Spacecraft at the Right Time

Analysis: By awarding the contract for the next-generation Orion space vehicle to Lockheed Martin, NASA finally got something right. But will Washington have the political will to complete the trip?

spaceuk
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posted 09-02-2006 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice technical briefing (PDF) on Orion showing cutaways and types of materials to be used.

spaceuk
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posted 09-02-2006 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another good document (PDF) showing Orion details.

Danno
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posted 09-05-2006 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Youskauskas:
My question is this: How does the COTS program fit into NASA's LEO plans if the new CEV is basically fulfilling the same role?
That is a great question!

Keep in mind that both versions are unmanned and the COTS versions will probably fly on launch vehicles that are not man-rated and the CEV has to fly on the man-rated Ares I even though there is no crew. Another thing to keep in mind is that the CEV will have 2 cargo version: one for unpressurized cargo and one for pressurized cargo [according to the NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study Final Report (DRAFT) October 2005 ].

One last thing is that the COTS requirements are in kg/year and the CEV are just in kg, so I am not sure how that will play out.

Here is a breakdown of both internal and external cargo capacity for COTS and CEV:

Internal (pressurized) cargo
COTS requirement: 8400 kg/yr
CEV requirement: 3500 kg
Pretty similar since there will be COTS missions similar in frequency to the Progress vehicles cunnently bringing pressurized cargo to ISS.

External (unpressurized) cargo
COTS requirement: 5000 kg/yr
CEV requirement: 6000 kg
Pretty similar since there is not a great need to take unpressurized cargo to ISS more than about once per year.

I would ballpark that a CEV cargo mission would cost about twice what a COTS mission would cost, if the COTS guys can actually get it together and make it work.

So if you just look at the money, NASA would shelve the CEV cargo variant and stick to COTS. But I believe that NASA will stick with CEV and let the COTS guys rot, even if they get a system that works. NASA is investing way too much money on the KSC infrastructure to have those guys sit around while watching COTS missions fly.

mikepf
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posted 09-05-2006 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read an article in my local print copy of the San Jose Mercury News in which the author indicated that NASA's plans include a vehicle that can return large cargo from orbit. He used bringing down HST as an example of what it could be used for. This is the first time I can recall hearing this. Is this capability being planned for, or was the reporter mistaken?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-05-2006 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you referring to this article?
The shuttle is the world's most versatile spacecraft to date. Orion will be even more so. It is designed to fly to the moon, but it also may be used to service the International Space Station. For instance, we may be able to use it to bring the Hubble Space Telescope safely back to Earth in the 2020s, after its stargazing mission is finished. The possibilities seem limitless.
If so, the author is Scott Horowitz, former astronaut and current NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems. I believe when he writes that Orion will be able to return Hubble safely to Earth, he is referring to the addition of a deorbit stage to facilitate a controlled reentry, but I could be mistaken.

mikepf
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posted 09-05-2006 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that is the article, which I no longer had available for reference. Returning large cargo would be a useful capability. One which I felt was lacking in the current plans, at least until I read this. Thanks!

SRB
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posted 09-05-2006 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've now looked at the great color graphics and the presentation text but don't see anything about this new capsule really being able to do a manned Mars mission. They mention the word "Mars" but then talk about doing no more than replacing the shuttle or returning to the moon. Both are important but does that leave a Mars mission to the next capsule to be designed after this one is successful in ten or fifteen years? Or did I miss something?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-05-2006 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I understand, Orion isn't intended to go to Mars. Rather, its role in a future Mars mission will be to deliver the crew to the vehicle that will then in turn take them to the red planet.

Even that however, is not well defined because NASA isn't actively planning for a Mars mission. The budget barely exists today for a return to the Moon and thus Mars, for now and the foreseeable future, is tabled. That doesn't however, necessarily invalidate the purpose of new lunar landings, as we can learn how to operate on Mars without having a firm plan to go...

DavidH
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posted 09-08-2006 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aerospace Daily has an article on why Lockheed Martin was selected.

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