Lockheed Martin announced that NASA has ordered them to additionally build three Orion spacecraft for future Artemis missions. The new order includes capsules for the Artemis VI, VII and VIII missions, which are expected to be launched in the early 2030s. The order cost the aerospace administration almost USD 2 billion.
This far-sighted and optimistic order for additional spacecraft appeared even before Artemis I rose from the surface of the Earth. The next launch attempt for a test flight without an Artemis I crew will take place on November 14. Two previous attempts were canceled in August, and then the launch, scheduled for September 27, had to be postponed due to Hurricane Ian, which forced NASA to hide the giant Space Launch System Rocket in a safe place inside the Kennedy Space Center building.
Lockheed Martin received its first order from NASA in September 2019. The Orion spacecraft is an Apollo-like command module equipped with life support systems that will allow astronauts to travel into deep space and into the orbit of the Moon. If the first two Artemis missions are successful, NASA plans to use the Orion capsule to land the first woman and an African-American on the Moon, this may happen approximately in 2025.
Orion capsules for Artemis III—V missions cost USD 2.7 billion. Lockheed Martin reported that they will build the next three capsules for less. In addition, the company stated that it would reduce costs through wholesale purchases of materials and components from suppliers to speed up the task.
Lockheed said that work is currently underway on the Artemis IV device. It is assembled at the NASA Michoud plant near New Orleans, and the heat shield is produced at the Lockheed Martin plant near Denver. In addition, work on the Artemis V spacecraft began in parallel.
Earlier we reported about how Shaun the Sheep will be sent to the Moon.
According to Lockheed Martin
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