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Lockheed Wins $370M to Test Orion Vehicle for NASA

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) has secured a $370 million sole source contract from NASA to perform a test flight of Lockheed’s Orion crew vehicle, NextGov reports.

NASA issued a justification notice for the contract Thursday, saying only Lockheed could fulfill the space agency’s requirements for the test flight.

NASA said the test would evaluate vehicle parts that pose high risks to both mission success and the crew. Those parts include the parachutes, heat shield and flight software.

Lockheed designed the Orion to transport astronauts to the moon and possibly Mars as part of an $8 billion contract. NASA hopes to have a test flight early in 2014, a NASA spokesman told NextGov.

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