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SFS News: World’s Top Aerospace Company Lockheed Martin ..

Posted by: Klaus Schmidt - Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:22 am
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SFS News: World’s Top Aerospace Company Lockheed Martin .. 
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Space Station Commander
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Post SFS News: World’s Top Aerospace Company Lockheed Martin ..   Posted on: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:22 am
UPHAM, NM, (Spaceport America) – Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s top aerospace company, has entered into an agreement with the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) to conduct operations from Spaceport America, the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico. Lockheed Martin, which has already been testing new launch technologies at the spaceport in conjunction with UP Aerospace, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NMSA to continue testing at the spaceport.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion. The company cites UP Aerospace and Spaceport America’s ability to provide low-cost, fast turnaround launch services year round as the reason for their commitment. Lean ground operations means Lockheed Martin can do more testing, faster, giving the company a competitive edge in developing new technologies.

In December 2007, Denver-based launch provider UP Aerospace worked with Lockheed Martin to conduct a successful small demonstration launch to test proprietary technology currently being developed by the company. Spaceport America was able to host the launch safely and efficiently, which has led to the MOU with the state of New Mexico.

“Having this relationship with Lockheed Martin validates the concept behind commercial space activity, and proves that Spaceport America can deliver on the promise of lower cost, quicker turnaround launch activity,â€

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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:14 am

Interesting to see what LH has in mind. Seems to be meeting the responsive payload requirements of the military.

Spaceport launch tests future spacecraft

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N. M. (KRQE) - Spaceport America has launched two unmanned commercial rockets and touts plans for space tourism, but some secret rocket research also is being done.

Lockheed Martin Corporation is now using the spaceport to advance some of its less-publicized technology.

This prototype of Lockheed Martin's new spacecraft is only one-fifth the size the future vehicle would be.

It looks a bit like the space shuttle and would fly to space and return the same way. But even the big version would not carry people, just satellites.

The goal is to get to orbit faster and cheaper thanks to an automated reusable spacecraft run by its own computers and just a handful of people for a launch crew.

"Doing test work out here at the spaceport allows us to kind of validate those kinds of activities and use those to predict what the future larger systems would be," Al Simpson of Lockheed Martin told KRQE News 13.

This day's launch is a test to check out design and handling inside the atmosphere as the craft maneuvered through a pre-planned course in the sky. Although the flight didn't go into space, the builders of the vehicle hoped to learn a lot about how the on-board computers, software and avionics, work together.

For Lockheed Martin Spaceport America in southeastern Sierra County offers the perfect venue for research like this.

"To be able to have a spaceport located down here where we can come in and almost just drop right in, do our thing and then be able to go back home and review the data and then be able to schedule and come back, that is very key for us," Simpson said.

To provide the actual launch services for this vehicle the new firm hired the company that's already launching rockets at Spaceport America: UP Aerospace.

UP Aerospace knows the state hopes for big bucks from a space tourism industry, however...

"Space tourism is great, but if it could be broader and include aerospace companies and military operations and things like that, then it will be much more stable as a spaceport moving forward," Jerry Larson of UP Aerospace said. "It won't be so reliant on just one tenant."

As is usual in aerospace research the inaugural flight of Lockheed Martin's spacecraft answered many questions and posed some more. Designers will adjust and be back.

On April 22 Sierra County residents will vote on a quarter-cent sales tax to help pay for the spaceport. Neighboring Dona Ana County has already approved a similar tax, and Otero County has yet to schedule a vote.

Legislation creating a state spaceport authority requires at least two counties approve the tax before it can be collected.

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