[REGIONAL NEWS] Lockheed Martin wins NASA contract for Orion program, which will send first woman to the moon

NASA sees Orion as key to deep-space exploration, part of path to Mars

Technicians working on the Orion Structural Test Article Crew Module at the Lockheed Martin Space Waterton Facility. April 16, 2018 Littleton, CO
/Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post

By Judith Kohler | The Denver Post

Lockheed Martin has won a contract from NASA to produce and operate six Orion spacecraft missions, a program the space agency calls the “backbone” of its plans for deep-space exploration and one that will send the first woman to the moon.

NASA and Lockheed Martin Space Systems announced the contract earlier this week, saying it includes the option to order up to 12 spacecraft through Sept. 30, 2030. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, based in Jefferson County, has been the prime contractor during development of the Orion program.

NASA has ordered three Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions III-V for $2.7 billion, according to Lockheed. In fiscal 2022, the agency plans to order three additional Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions VI-VIII for $1.9 billion.

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