Science

NASA inks US$4.6 bn pact for Orion capsules

NASA inks US$4.6 bn pact for Orion capsules”

The agency has ordered three Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions III through V, which together costs about $2.7 billion.

Lockheed Martin - the builder of the Orion spacecraft for moon missions - received a contract promising at least six spacecraft orders from NASA.

And if NASA is ever going to send astronauts back to the Moon, it is going to need new spacesuits for lunar exploration.

The contract for the production and operation of ships was concluded with Lockheed Martin.

"This contract secures Orion production through the next decade, demonstrating NASA's commitment to establishing a sustainable presence at the Moon to bring back new knowledge and prepare for sending astronauts to Mars", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. It should help NASA save money on production costs, the report said. NASA plans to order three more by 2022 to conduct missions tentatively scheduled to run from 2026 to 2028.

OPOC will realize substantial savings compared to the costs of vehicles built during the design, development, test and evaluation phase.

The primary spacecraft, Artemis III, will carry the primary girl and the subsequent man to the moon in 2024, the place they'll dock with the Gateway and finally land on the floor.

Orion will be used to bring astronauts into orbit around the moon. "Driving down cost and manufacturing them more efficiently and faster will be key to making the Artemis program a success", said Mike Hawes, Orion program manager for Lockheed Martin Space.

Presently NASA - as is the case with all other human space agencies - does not have a spacesuit capable of allowing moonwalks.

Advanced Space only has 16 employees but supports mission planning operations for NASA and recently was awarded a $13.7 million contract to develop a software package for NASA's Artemis moon program.

Orion is designed particularly for deep-space missions with astronauts and is an integral a part of the infrastructure for Artemis missions and future exploration of the photo voltaic system, Bridenstine added. Work on the spacecraft for the Artemis II mission, the first crewed flight to the Moon, is well underway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.



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