Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has received a potential $4.6B indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract from NASA to produce six Orion spacecraft to transport astronauts to the moon.
The company said Monday the Orion Production and Operations Contract includes a $2.7B initial order for three spacecraft for Artemis III to V lunar missions and an additional $1.9B for three vehicles in fiscal year 2022 to support Artemis VI through VIII missions.
“This contract clearly shows NASA’s commitment not only to Orion, but also to Artemis and its bold goal of sending humans to the Moon in the next five years,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed’s space business and a 2019 Wash100 winner.
The Orion spacecraft for the crewed Artemis III mission is expected to launch in 2024. NASA may order up to six additional Orion vehicles by Sept. 30, 2030 through the IDIQ contract.
“This contract secures Orion production through the next decade, demonstrating NASA’s commitment to establishing a sustainable presence at the Moon to bring back new knowledge and prepare for sending astronauts to Mars,” NASA Administrator and fellow Wash100 award recipient Jim Bridenstine said in a statement published Tuesday.
NASA said the Johnson Space Center in Houston will oversee spacecraft production and work under the IDIQ contract will support the development of the Gateway platform and other mission requirements.
Lockheed performs work on the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis II manned mission at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The company announced in July the completion of Orion’s crew capsule and service module for the Artemis 1 unmanned test flight and is preparing the spacecraft for testing at the space agency’s Plum Brook Station in Cleveland.