Orion Spacecraft on the Path to Future Flight

AmericaSpace Note: Special thanks to @space_pete for posting this article from Lockheed Martin on Twitter.

Lockheed Martin has a press release, Orion Spacecraft on the Path to Future Flight that highlights its spacecraft factory of the future, located at Kennedy Space Center. From the release,

As the nation’s next generation spacecraft for human spaceflight, the Orion crew exploration vehicle is designed to support missions to the International Space Station and far beyond into deep space. The Orion spacecraft will be fully assembled and integrated on site in the Operations & Checkout (O&C) Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, a capability that provides significant time and cost savings.

‘The unique benefit of this complete on-site operation is that we will build the spacecraft and then move it directly onto the launch vehicle at KSC, which saves the government transportation costs associated with tests and checkout prior to launch,’ said Lockheed Martin Orion Deputy Program Manager for production operations Richard Harris. ‘This capability also facilitates the KSC workforce transition efforts by providing new job opportunities for those employees completing their shuttle program assignments.’

Dubbed the ‘the spacecraft factory of the future’, the O&C, underwent a two-year renovation effort led by Lockheed Martin with support from Space Florida and NASA. The collaborative effort created a state-of-the-art complex designed with the flexibility to support NASA’s next generation spacecraft fleet.


  1. My questions about the Orion are:

    1. Will it land on land or on water or both?
    2. How many astronauts will it carry?
    3. Can the command module be launched on other vehicles like a man-rated Atlas V?
    4. How many times can the capsule be used?

    I think NASA and Lockheed really need to let us know exactly what this vehicle can do compared to Boeing’s CST-100

    • Great questions!

      If you go to NASA.gov, you’ll note that NASA isn’t exactly tooting the Constellation horn these days. I hope that after the Congressional work is done and the final NASA Reauthorization Act is signed that NASA will be able to start getting that information out.

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