Lockheed Martin Announces Partnership With the State of Florida To Pursue NASA's New Crew Exploration Vehicle
Cape Canaveral, FL, 22-FEB-06 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] announced today, in partnership with the State of Florida, its plans to locate final assembly and testing of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) in Florida if the corporation is successful in its bid to provide the next generation crew transportation system for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The CEV, an advanced blunt-body crew capsule design, is a key element of NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration, and will transport up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station and up to four crew members for lunar missions, to Mars and beyond.
Lockheed Martin, as prime contractor, is leading a team that is competing to help NASA develop and produce a CEV that will be safer, more reliable and more cost-effective than previous human spaceflight systems.
As NASA retires its venerable Space Shuttle system in 2010, the new Crew Exploration Vehicle will carry forward the next generation of astronauts to Earth orbit, back to the moon and on to farther destinations.
|Image: Courtesy NASA|
“We are extremely pleased and proud to partner with the State of Florida in support of NASA’s CEV program. The point of final assembly and testing for each mission will be critical to the viability of NASA’s CEV program and the ideal location to do that is here in Florida adjacent to the launch site,” said John Karas, vice president of space exploration for Lockheed Martin. “Florida has an extremely talented existing workforce with the skills, experience, dedication and track record to meet the challenges and requirements of NASA’s human spaceflight program. They also have facilities that can support the highly specialized work that the new Crew Exploration Vehicle will require. And co-location here in Florida with NASA’s launch operations offers the greatest value at an overall affordable cost that is essential to the long-term success, safety, reliability and sustainability of NASA’s CEV program,” added Karas.
In support of the State of Florida’s extensive heritage in NASA’s space flight endeavors and the state’s strong interest in maintaining a key role in NASA’s CEV program, Governor Jeb Bush has proposed incentives valued at $45.5 million for the CEV program to cover training, transportation infrastructure, facility improvements and equipment.
“On behalf of the State of Florida, I am very pleased that Lockheed Martin has recognized our strong commitment to maintaining our space industry legacy,” said Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings. “We are proud to partner with them by providing economic incentives to final assemble the Crew Exploration Vehicle right here at Kennedy Space Center, where space history begins and will continue for years to come.”
In trade studies, Lockheed Martin looked closely at the significant benefits of using facilities located in Florida for final assembly, integration and subsystem checkout, environmental acceptance testing, and Crew Module maintenance, for both the CEV Crew Module and Service Module. The final assembly and integration will be located in the O&C facility located on-site at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), a state-of-the-art facility that will be specifically configured to support CEV final assembly and acceptance testing. Locating the final assembly and integration operations in proximity with the launch operations will provide much greater efficiency in the flow of testing and operations leading to launch. In addition, the synergies gained by utilizing KSC for assembly and integration will provide NASA with greater operational flexibility during the final integration of the CEV with the Crew Launch Vehicle.
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.