Lockheed Martin’s Shares Up After Orion Announcement

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corp Friday climbed on news of a consortium led by the defense contracting giant having won a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The contract to design, develop and build the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, the human spacecraft aimed at replacing the space shuttle. The contract won by the consortium, which also includes Honeywell International Inc and Orbital Sciences Corp, is expected to last through 2013, is estimated to be valued at almost $4 billion. The group led by Lockheed Martin beat a joint bid from The Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman to win the NASA contract.… Read the rest

Ares 1 Parachute Recovery System Tests Completed

NASA recently completed a series of tests that will aid in the design and development of a parachute recovery system for the rocket and capsule that will return astronauts to the moon and later support missions to Mars. The system will be used for the first stage booster of the Ares I crew launch vehicle and for Orion, the new crew exploration vehicle.

NASA and industry engineers traveled to the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. to conduct drop tests of the two parachute systems during the week of Aug. 14.

The Ares I tests collected performance data on a pilot parachute, the first to be unfurled in a three-stage recovery system NASA is developing for the rocket’s first stage.… Read the rest