Through TheFLY's Eyes: Lockheed Martin
To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before….
Lockheed Martin (LMT) announced late Thursday that the U.S.’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] had selected it to develop the agency’s Orien Project crew capsule, which will be part of a spaceship that will return astronauts to the moon, and hopefully, to destinations beyond.
It’s no small win for Lockheed: the project represents a $4B bonanza, with opportunities for contract add-ons. Lockheed’s shares were up $1.05 to $83.63 on Friday at mid-day.
In addition, the Orien Project carries a multi-fold prestige value. First, there’s the marquee-status of being the primary company for the U.S.’s next-generation spacecraft. Second, there’s the victory over Northrop Grumman (NOC), which was considered the favorite for the project. Given those points, it is an upbeat day at Lockheed, to be sure, but analysts are quick to point out that as the Orien Project develops toward a return to the moon and longer space travel, there will be ample opportunities for Grumman and other companies, such as Boeing (BA), to secure substantial amounts of work.
Orion is considered the first step in the U.S.’s broader vision for space exploration, which after the return to the moon, and the establishment of a station there, foresees a manned-mission to Mars, at least 35M miles away.