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Lockheed Martin wins NASA Contract

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Ox

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:54 AM
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Lockheed Martin has beat out it's rivals to win the "Orion" manned lunar spaceship
 



news.yahoo.com
WASHINGTON - In a setback to Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. surprised aerospace industry observers by landing the multibillion-dollar contract to build
NASA's manned lunar spaceship.

In picking Lockheed Martin for Orion, described by NASA's chief as "Apollo on steroids," the agency bypassed Apollo throwbacks Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles and its chief subcontractor Boeing of Chicago. Northrop Grumman's predecessor built the Apollo lunar lander. Companies bought by Boeing built the Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury capsules, Skylab and the space shuttle.

The last time NASA awarded a manned spaceship contract to Lockheed Martin was in 1996 for a spaceplane that was supposed to replace the space shuttle. NASA spent $912 million and the ship, called X-33, never got built because of technical problems.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


So there it is.. Orion. To be built by Lockheed Martin at an estimated cost of $7.5 billion. Doug Cook a NASA deputy associate administrator said that Lockheed beat Northrop mainly because it's design was "achievable". There was no word on why Boeing wasnt chosen. Lockheed also changed their initial design from more of "space plane" to something along the lines of an "Apollo like capsule".... A direct quote from the article

"If all goes well, the first test flight of Orion will be September 2014 and astronauts could return to the moon by late 2019 or 2020, NASA estimates. Karas said, if asked, his company could make the first flight in 2013."

So it's going to take 13 years to reach the moon? And it took Apollo how long? Hmm... Nevertheless... Very interesting.. I'll be interesting in seeing how the capsule looks and holds up to testing, the size of it, and the way NASA plans on deploying it, Seems like the more technology changes, the more it stays the same really.. Well, in this case atelast




posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 10:17 AM
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Yeah every time I hear about this, all I can keep thinking is "I wonder why it's going to take another 15 years and billions of dollars to duplicate a feat we accomplished nearly 40 years ago..."

I understand it's going to be using new equipment and I'm sure the safety will be better etc, but it still just seems like such an odd concept.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 10:39 AM
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Lockheed Martin is a Global leader of technology development and the US government has been its biggest client since who knows when. It is good to see a superior tech company landing this job.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 10:47 AM
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Well, it only makes sense. LM produces superior jets, satellites, and a lot of other stuff... That and they've been working on a RLV for a loooooong time. I remember about 20 years ago looking at some of my dad's work and seeing a sketch once for a really wicked looking plane that could only best be described as "half a gently curved shuriken", with the Earth behind it and the Moon in front of it. I asked my dad about it, he just smiled and put it away saying I might get to see it on the news someday.

I shiver with antici........(say it! say it!)......pation.

Here's an interesting article for those who want to look up some of the past events that led up to this...

www.space.com...



[edit on 9/1/2006 by thelibra]


Ox

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 11:52 AM
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Djarums, I agree... It surprised me a little when I read that NASA is planning on using Capsule technology, When there is far more advanced technology out there that could be put to good use.. Unless the capsule is huge then it will be cramped and space inside will be limited, compare previously used capsules to the size of the space shuttle..

Maybe there is something we're missing.. Perhaps this helps the whole "Moon Conspiracy" theory hold water.. Something like "We faked it with a capsule back then, no telling whats up there, lets go with something that theoretically works"

I dont know.. any thoughts or insight would be great



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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You know Westy, if it ain't broke why mess with it? The Saturn V had 13 successful launches and it did take us to the moon 6 times people. So it's a proven concept and design, this new capsule will be bigger and more sophisticated then its Apollo counterpart. And it will be safer than the Space Shuttle both during launch and reentry. Besides the fact that it's a proven design thats why they went with a capsule idea, it's at the very top of the rocket if anything falls off it can't hit it.

Also this new concept will have a rocket that will launch the cargo and one that will launch the crew; they dock in space and head off.

Here is some more information about it, notice the cargo capacity of the CaLV.

Link

And here is how it's supposed to work.

Link

Here is some information about the Orion.

Link

Frankly I don't see why people are knocking this, saying it's not advanced enough, are you kidding me?

The shuttle can land on a runway, wow ok, this can land too, it just has a parachute and airbags. How do you plan on getting to the moon with a shuttle like spacecraft anyway, by building a runway on the moon?

This is the right direction for NASA they got it right the first time.

[edit on 1-9-2006 by WestPoint23]


Ox

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 01:25 PM
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Im not knocking it.. or saying that it's not technologically advanced enough... I just think that the design could have been a little more....erm... modern.. I mean..It's a big stretch from the originally proposed X-33 project that was more of a space plane.. This capsule design just seems like it's reminiscent of the Apollo missions... Are they trying to remind us of that? perhaps?



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:40 PM
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Perhaps the shape of the capsual makes more economic sense in a zero gravity environment than a space plane type thing. Planes are designed on different concepts considering like drag, and wind, and gravity and such. I do not think the same concepts apply in space, and therefore would probably be more expensive to develop than the now intended project?

Thats all I could think of with my limited knowledge on the actual technology and science involved. any thoughts?



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:49 PM
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They had a thing about it on NPR, or PRI, or one of those Public Radio thingummies... and interviewed...some guy... about the thing. And he gave a nice long explanation about this, that, and the other... and essentially what he said was that your return vehicle had to be most accomodating to the laws of physics. The original was, very much so, and that the laws of physics hadn't changed much since the 1950's... So there you go... physics...and stuff.

(goes back to drinking)

Why the hell am I on ATS on a Friday night, reading about Moon thingies?


Ox

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:53 PM
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The laws of physics huh? I can SORTA see that.. but then I can also see the aerodynamics of a space plane.. Kind of like the Space Shuttle, very efficient for take off and landings.. Even more efficient if it could take off under its own power, but that's a different thread.... It just seems like.. the capsule might be the most.. ergonomic design, to use the most amount of space they can in such a small (Im guessing) area.... Im sure there is alot of unused space on the space shuttle.. My next question would be, What about cargo? Where will it be stored?... The next question after that would be.. What if this next moon landing, reveals that (again I am guessing) we never went to the moon? What happens then?



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 11:06 PM
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The US government has more money then sense why would you give a contract to a company that blew nearly a billon dollars on a past failed project ?
Why dosnt the US government practice what it preaches and bring in the Freemarket ?
If US government brought in the freemarket Japanese and Europen companies could develop the technology and US firms would be forced to produce better technology with less tax payer dollars wasted.

I understand that some elements of the Aerospace/defence devlopment must remain in the US for security reasons but when is the US tax payer going to stand up and say we wont stand our tax dollars being wasted any longer ?



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 01:19 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
The US government has more money then sense why would you give a contract to a company that blew nearly a billon dollars on a past failed project ?
Why dosnt the US government practice what it preaches and bring in the Freemarket ?
If US government brought in the freemarket Japanese and Europen companies could develop the technology and US firms would be forced to produce better technology with less tax payer dollars wasted.

I understand that some elements of the Aerospace/defence devlopment must remain in the US for security reasons but when is the US tax payer going to stand up and say we wont stand our tax dollars being wasted any longer ?


Well, you hit the nail nearly on the head. Security reasons are the main reason why the US doesnt outsource this type of project. I am also fairly certain that both the equipment and expertise are more readily avialiable in the US than they are in europe or japan.

I have also noticed a sudden return to the moon seems to be on the priority lists of many nations lately. Russia, China, India...I wonder if this has something to do with acquiring more resources and not simply prestige.

Mars should be our next step and establishing interplanetary colonies should also be a priority.

In anycase, I dont mind "wasted" tax payer dollars if it prevents critical technologies from falling into potential enemy/rivals hands.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 01:51 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan


I have also noticed a sudden return to the moon seems to be on the priority lists of many nations lately. Russia, China, India...I wonder if this has something to do with acquiring more resources and not simply prestige.


Your on the right track there is a Space Race and there are more players then there were during the cold war.



In anycase, I dont mind "wasted" tax payer dollars if it prevents critical technologies from falling into potential enemy/rivals hands.


The Space Race is an econmic race there is more to the Race then just developing technology those wasted tax payer dollars could come back to haunt the US government.

Surely unless the lunar spaceship is going to be used for military purposes there are elements of the project that could be outsourced without risking national security ?
If civilian and military space projects are kept seperate it would be a good idea to bring other parties on board the US cant win the Space Race by itself.

Lockheed Martin seem to get more benfit from this project then NASA do even if the project gets canned they have still made money and NASA would be back at square one.


[edit on 2-9-2006 by xpert11]

[edit on 2-9-2006 by xpert11]

[edit on 2-9-2006 by xpert11]


jra

posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 02:32 AM
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Originally posted by Ox
So it's going to take 13 years to reach the moon? And it took Apollo how long?


Took Apollo about 9 years to land on the Moon. So it wasn't that much faster. You also got to remember the budget for NASA back then was much higher. The Apollo program was about $135 billion (2006 Dollars). Plus they also had the pressure of the USSR on them as well.


t surprised me a little when I read that NASA is planning on using Capsule technology, When there is far more advanced technology out there that could be put to good use


Why do you feel that a capsule is not an advanced vehicle? And what other vehicles are there that are capable of flying to the Moon? Space planes are not good for going to the Moon. Wings and tail add useless weight. A capsule is currently the most efficient way to get to the Moon and back.


Unless the capsule is huge then it will be cramped and space inside will be limited, compare previously used capsules to the size of the space shuttle


Well any vehicle you design will have limited space. But the Orion will be larger then any previous capsule. It's planned to carry a max of six people and four to the Moon (with all four going to the surface)


It's a big stretch from the originally proposed X-33 project that was more of a space plane.. This capsule design just seems like it's reminiscent of the Apollo missions


I don't think the X-33 was designed to go to the Moon though. I believe it was ment to be and Earth orbiter and nothing more, just like the Shuttle. I do think the X-33 was a great concept, but was just too complex to build and some of the technology just wasn't there yet. This is way the Ares is good for NASA. We know the concept works, so less spent on R&D and more spent on just making a good rocket/capsule system.


Originally posted by thelibra
essentially what he said was that your return vehicle had to be most accomodating to the laws of physics. The original was, very much so, and that the laws of physics hadn't changed much since the 1950's... So there you go... physics...and stuff.


That's a good way of putting it. Just like how the basic characteristics of a car or a plane haven't changed in many decades. Why should a space ship that's ment to go to the Moon change drasticly in 30 years (with 20 of those years not having gone back)? Plus we've only gone to the Moon nine times (if you count Apollo 8, 10 and 13). So we haven't had a chance to really advance our knowledge in that area, unlike cars and planes that drive and fly around every day for the last century.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 03:42 AM
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Originally posted by DYepes
Lockheed Martin is a Global leader of technology development and the US government has been its biggest client since who knows when. It is good to see a superior tech company landing this job.


Hey, hey, hey! Northtrop Grumman is an innovator in the aerospace industry and a steward of excellent services and industries! And, uh, I work for them too.


Ox

posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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Hey JRA.. thanks for the post... and the information, I see your point.. especially the useless weight and so forth.. Puts it into perspective

Thanks alot



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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The government needs to stop favoring LockMart everytime they need an aerospace project or instead of the "big three" there will just be the "big one"....


Ox

posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:19 PM
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I'm also curious why the fed went with Lockheed so quickly.. Seeing they spent 960some million on a project that was later dismissed..



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