Lockheed, Lawmakers Urge NASA To Fund Orion Development at 2010 Level
Lockheed Martin officials along with Colorado lawmakers are warning that NASAâ€™s spending plan for the Orion crew capsule over the next year is insufficient to retain the programâ€™s current development work force and would make it difficult to conduct a flight test of a vehicle prototype the company envisions for late 2013.
In an Oct. 8 letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Ed Perlmutter â€” both Colorado Democrats â€” said until Congress hammers out a new 2011 spending bill, NASA must fully fund Orionâ€™s continued development as a crew exploration vehicle, regardless of the presidentâ€™s plan to scale it back for use as a crew lifeboat on the international space |station.
â€œMaintaining the  level of funding at this crucial time â€” during which the federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) â€” would continue to allow for an Orion test flight as early as 2013,â€ the lawmakers state in the letter, which notes that both the newly enacted 2010 NASA Authorization Act and draft appropriations legislation â€œinclude language in favor of continuing Orion, not just as a crew rescue vehicle, but with its entire original mission portfolio, including service to the [international space station] and missions in Deep Space.â€
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