Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor building the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, NASA’s first spacecraft designed for long-duration, human-rated deep space exploration. Orion will transport humans to interplanetary destinations beyond low Earth orbit, such as asteroids, the moon and eventually Mars, and return them safely back to Earth.
The Orion program will enable NASA to:
- Carry out a robust human and robotic exploration program that is both sustainable and affordable
- Extend human presence across the solar system to our planets, asteroids and other destinations
- Develop the innovative technology, knowledge, and infrastructure needed to support more challenging human space exploration missions
- Promote international and commercial participation in exploration to further advance U.S. scientific, security and economic interests
This state-of-the-art spacecraft provides solutions that are extensible to future missions, and focuses first and foremost on crew safety:
- Accommodates a crew of up to six astronauts
- Provides safe ascent abort with no black zones
- Enables safe abort opportunities during all mission phases
- Withstands re-entry at speeds greater than 20,000 miles per hour
Lockheed Martin leads the Orion industry team which includes major subcontractors Aerojet Rocketdyne, United Technologies Aerospace Systems, and Honeywell, as well as an expansive network of minor subcontractors and small businesses in 45 states across the country.
In addition, Lockheed Martin contracts with hundreds of small businesses across the United States through an expansive supply chain network. There are approximately 3,000 people who work on the Orion program nationwide, including contractors, civil servants, subcontractors, suppliers and small businesses.