Lockheed Martin to Get $375 Million for Orion Flight in 2014

Space News

NASA intends to add $375 million to Lockheed Martin Space Systems’ $6.4 billion Orion space capsule contract so that the company can procure a Delta 4 rocket to power a 2014 test flight of the next-generation crew vehicle.

In a procurement notice posted online Jan. 6, NASA said it intends to make a sole source award to Lockheed Martin for Exploration Flight Test (EFT)-1 by modifying the Denver-based company’s existing contract to build Orion, a craft also known as the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). Lockheed, won the Orion contract in 2006 as part of the now-canceled Constellation Moon- destination program.

Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) also expressed interest in Exploration Test Flight-1, according to NASA’s notice, but both companies were turned down.

Boeing and SpaceX, NASA wrote, “proposed capabilities which focused primarily on meeting one aspect of the requirement of NASA’s EFT-1 effort … a launch vehicle. However, neither company addressed the complete requirements for the end-to-end EFT-1 effort.”

Orion is scheduled to fly unmanned on NASA’s Space Launch System in 2017. It is not set to fly with humans aboard until 2021.