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Lockheed wins CEV contract
Posted: Thu, Aug 31, 2006, 7:45 PM ET (2345 GMT)
Orion spacecraft illustration (Lockheed Martin) NASA announced Thursday afternoon that it has selected Lockheed Martin as the prime contractor for the manned spacecraft that will be the cornerstone of the agency's Vision for Space Exploration. Lockheed Martin will develop and build the Orion spacecraft, known before last week as the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), under a NASA contract worth $3.9 billion. Production of Orion spacecraft through the end of the next decade, along with sustaining engineering work, would give Lockheed an additional $4.25 billion. Lockheed Martin beat out a Northrop Grumman-Boeing team to win the contract, although NASA officials declined to identify what factors caused them to select the Lockheed proposal. Orion, analogous in its basic design to the Apollo spacecraft but larger and more technologically advanced, will enter service by 2014, initially on flights to the International Space Station and later on missions to the Moon. Orion will be launched on an Ares 1 rocket, derived from the shuttle's solid rocket boosters, that NASA is developing separately.
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