Friday, September 01, 2006

Lockheed Martin lands the coveted Contract from NASA..

Lockheed Martin lands the coveted Contract to build the successor of SPACE SHUTTLE.. a seven-year, $3.9 billion (upto $8 billion) contract to design, develop and build the ORION CREW EXPLORATION Vehicle.. This was contrary to exoectations of the most, boz the rival Boeing + Northrop Grumman had better track record in similar projects.

Orion may start the service between 2012 & 2014.. The Space Shuttle will retire in 2010.

The Orion program will provide a state-of-the-art human space flight system capable of safely transferring astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon, Mars and other destinations beyond low earth orbit (LEO).

Together with the Earth Departure Stage (EDS), the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM), and the Ares rocket system, Orion is one of the elements of NASA's Project Constellation.

This Orion project is expected to incorporate the best of Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.. this may have more similarities to the Apollo.. its dubbed "Apollo on steroids".

The Orion Crew Module will use a combination of parachutes and airbags for the final descent to Earth, enabling the Orion CM to come down on land. Thus the more costly option of landing in sea is avoided(although splashdown will be retained as a backup option). Each CM is expected to be used for 10 flights and all but the Heat Shield will be reused.

Together with Ares Series Rockets, this will form the backbone of NASA in the next decade.

The first part of the contract is for two pathfinder spacecrafts: a manned Orion crew capsule and an unmanned variant that can be used to carry supplies and unpressurized cargo to the international space station.

Further Readings:

No comments: