Image credit: NASA
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman announced that they will be working together on their proposal for NASA’s Orbital Space Plane (OSP). This consortium will compete against Boeing, and NASA will select its supplier in August 2004. NASA will ask the winning team to build a vehicle by 2008 that can rescue the crew of the International Space Station, and then transfer two astronauts to the station by 2012. The OSP will be launched atop an Atlas V or Delta IV rocket.
Lockheed Martin Corporation’s (NYSE: LMT – News) Space Systems Company and Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC – News) Integrated Systems sector have moved NASA a significant step closer to its goal of launching a safe, affordable Orbital Space Plane (OSP) by 2008.
The two companies have agreed to establish a teaming arrangement to compete for the full-scale development of the OSP. Lockheed Martin will lead the new team as the system prime contractor while Northrop Grumman will serve as Lockheed Martin’s principal teammate and subcontractor. NASA expects to select a prime contractor team for the full-scale OSP development by August 2004.
“The diverse talents, technical resources and aerospace systems experience of our two companies will help NASA reduce the schedule and cost risks of the accelerated OSP program,” said Michael Coats, vice president, Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Space Transportation. “Our collective expertise in large-scale systems integration, space systems engineering, launch vehicles, military aircraft, and autonomous flight provide a critical foundation for NASA’s efforts to restore vigor and confidence to the nation’s human spaceflight program.”
NASA has specified that the OSP must provide a crew rescue capability for the International Space Station by 2008, a two-year acceleration in the OSP development schedule outlined last spring. A two-way crew transfer OSP is also required by 2012. OSP will be launched on either an Atlas V or Delta IV rocket.
“The combination of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman on OSP provides NASA with a critical opportunity to broaden the nation’s industrial base in the area of human spaceflight,” said Doug Young, director of Space Access Programs for Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems. “The team will have the capability to design, develop, test, produce, support and maintain a cost-effective, technically superior crew rescue and transfer OSP system.”
Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are currently performing separate OSP contracts for NASA. Awarded in April 2003, these contracts focus on helping NASA develop Level One Requirements for the OSP and on defining architectural concepts for proposed OSP crew rescue and transfer vehicles. Northrop Grumman will complete the current phase of its OSP contract, then become a Lockheed Martin subcontractor.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 125,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2002 sales of $26.6 billion.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. It designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for government and civil customers worldwide. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support NASA, military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command & control and integrated strike warfare.
Original Source: Lockheed Martin news release