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Lockheed Martin Considers Mixed Fleet For Launching New Space Vision

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 Washington (SPX) May 05, 2004
John Karas, Lockheed Martin vice president for Space Exploration, said today that incremental, evolutionary development of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) family that began in the 1960s is a vital lesson that can yield important dividends well into the future.

In testimony today before a Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space Hearing, Karas cautioned that the nation's launch systems providers need to fully understand the goals of exploration missions and requirements before driving the architecture to accomplish them. The subcommittee is studying U.S. space launch capabilities including the space shuttle and future launch vehicles.

"Some in our industry often like to jump to solutions, but it's not about heavy lift. It's not about the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria. It's about the total requirements for exploration for the entire mission model," Karas said.

Karas cited Lockheed Martin's Atlas launch vehicle, which has evolved over four decades to its current capabilities, as one of the candidates for further evolution to support potential lunar or Mars missions

"We are focusing on EELV-derived systems to support new space exploration missions, but also addressing shuttle-derived and "clean sheet" approaches to heavy lift. Once the overall space transportation requirements are defined, the best solution can be selected based on what is affordable and sustainable," he said.

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JFK, Bush Space Plans Similar
 Washington (UPI) May 05, 2004
More than four decades ago, on May 5, 1961, a Navy commander squeezed into a spaceship seat the size of a bathtub and was blasted into outer space for a history-making trip. American astronaut Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. spent a scant 15 minutes in flight aboard his Mercury capsule, Freedom 7, but it was enough to electrify the nation's space program, sagging in the face of repeated Russian triumphs.

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