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Lockheed Martin Submits Spaceship Proposal

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-04

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NASA begins receiving proposals on the craft that will replace the shuttle, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).

Human missions to the moon, to Mars, and perhaps beyond received a boost as contractors submitted initial proposals for a new spacecraft to NASA.

Lockheed Martin's concept includes what is called a lifting body concept. The lifting body of the craft would be superior to previous capsule designs for several reasons.

The most significant reason would be the ability to land the craft on the ground instead of on water. Crew safety and the ability to outfit the lifting body for lunar or Martian missions also figure into the design.

Another facet of the Lockheed Martin design incorporates a titanium shell and two layers of thermal insulating materials. The redundancy would protect astronauts in the event the outer layer of heat protection was compromised.

The debut of a CEV could happen relatively quickly. NASA administrator Michael Griffin has tabbed 2010 as the end of the shuttle program.

Initial testing of this design by Lockheed Martin would start in 2008. NASA has announced previously two teams would be awarded the CEV work in September.



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