Lock heed Marin has won the government contract to build the next moonship.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- NASA on Thursday awarded a multibillion dollar contract to build a manned lunar spaceship to Lockheed Martin Corp., which usually builds unmanned rockets.That’s the whole AP story that appears on CNN.com. It is accompanied with a picture of the failed X-33 design but not the new contract-winning vehicle. So I did a little research and found this artist depiction of the new craft.
The last time NASA awarded a manned spaceship contract to Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Maryland, 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.
The nation's space agency chose Lockheed Martin, the biggest government aerospace and defense contractor, to build the Orion crew exploration vehicle, which is once again supposed to replace the space shuttle fleet, take astronauts to the moon and perhaps on to Mars.
That comes from this MSNBC story dated 05/05/2005.
I have mixed feelings about this “multibillion dollar contract” (i.e. that’s a lot of money) but it seems to be largely a done deal so let’s see what happens.