Lockheed to Build Shuttle Replacement

NASA has knighted Lockheed Martin to develop the Orion crew exploration vehicle, the replacement for the space shuttle. The first launch of the new CEV with a human crew is slated for 2014. NASA expects the Orion to transport up to six crewmembers to and from the International Space Station and up to four on missions to the moon and Mars. Joining Lockheed in this endeavor will be Honeywell, Orbital Sciences, United Space Alliance, and Hamilton Sundstrand. Boosting the Orion CEV into space will be the job of NASA’s still-in-development Ares I two-stage rocket. Since he graduated from astronaut training earlier this year, USAF Lt. Col. James Dutton, a former F-22 Raptor test pilot, has been working on the CEV project.