LOCKHEED MARTIN CHOSEN FOR PHASE II OF FALCON SMALL LAUNCH VEHICLE
NEW ORLEANS, La, 21-SEP-04 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has received $11.7 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force for the second phase of the Falcon Small Launch Vehicle (SLV) program.
The goal of the Falcon SLV program is to develop and demonstrate an affordable and responsive space lift capability. Under the award agreement, Lockheed Martin will conduct a 10-month phase IIa preliminary design and development effort to mature its Hybrid launch vehicle design.
In 2005, DARPA and the Air Force will select one or more teams to conduct detailed design and launch vehicle fabrication. Phase IIb will conclude in 2007 with flight tests to launch a small satellite to verify vehicle performance.
“This is another positive step for Hybrid propulsion technology,” said Bob Simms, director & program manager of the Falcon program for Lockheed Martin Space Systems in New Orleans. “It allows the team to continue development work on our innovative all-Hybrid propulsion vehicle, our unique mobile and portable launch systems, and the associated low-cost subsystems and manufacturing approaches.”
Lockheed Martin has been developing Hybrid propulsion systems since 1989 and successfully flight-demonstrated a 60,000-pound-thrust sounding rocket from Wallops Island, Va. in 2002.
In addition to DARPA and the Air Force, NASA has also expressed interest in the Small Launch Vehicle capability and is a formal partner in the Falcon SLV development program.
A Falcon graphic is posted at http://www.lockheedmartin.com/michoud/gallery/gallery_index.html
Lockheed Martin Space Systems -- Michoud Operations designs and assembles large aluminum and composite structures such as the Space Shuttle External Tank for aerospace and other applications at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.