Lockheed Martin Considers Mixed Fleet Of Launch Alternatives For National Space Exploration Vision
WASHINGTON, D.C.,, 05-MAY-04 -- John Karas, Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] vice president for Space Exploration, said today that incremental, evolutionary development of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) family that began in the 1960s is a vital lesson that can yield important dividends well into the future.
In testimony today before a Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space Hearing, Karas cautioned that the nation’s launch systems providers need to fully understand the goals of exploration missions and requirements before driving the architecture to accomplish them. The subcommittee is studying U.S. space launch capabilities including the space shuttle and future launch vehicles.
“Some in our industry often like to jump to solutions, but it’s not about heavy lift. It’s not about the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria. It’s about the total requirements for exploration for the entire mission model,” Karas said.
Karas cited Lockheed Martin’s Atlas launch vehicle, which has evolved over four decades to its current capabilities, as one of the candidates for further evolution to support potential lunar or Mars missions
“We are focusing on EELV-derived systems to support new space exploration missions, but also addressing shuttle-derived and “clean sheet” approaches to heavy lift. Once the overall space transportation requirements are defined, the best solution can be selected based on what is affordable and sustainable,” he said.
Karas’ is available at www.lockheedmartin.com/explorespace.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered near Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems Company designs, develops, tests and manufactures a variety of advanced technology systems for space and defense. Chief products include space launch systems, defense systems, interplanetary and science spacecraft, spacecraft for commercial and government customers, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.