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Lockheed may pay for dropped satellite
Posted: Wed, Mar 3, 2004, 11:49 PM ET (0449 GMT)
Lockheed Martin may be forced to pay up to $400 million for damage to a US government weather satellite dropped at a company factory last year, the Secretary of Commerce said Tuesday. Donald Evans, speaking before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that the Commerce Department is investigating the mishap at Lockheed Martin's Sunnyvale satellite facility in September, when the NOAA N-Prime satellite slipped off a platform and fell approximately one meter to the floor. An internal company investigation determined that several bolts designed to hold the satellite to the platform it was resting on had been removed without proper documentation. Evans told senators that the department was considering all options, including legal action to recover the costs of the damaged satellite from Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for NOAA N-Prime. Evans said the department would be pursuing "the total recovery of the loss," which the chairman of the subcommittee, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said could be as much as $400 million.
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